|The Defence Minister, Mr. A.K. Antony handing over keys of HAL Dornier 228 to Minister of Foreign Affairs of Seychelles, Mr. Jean-Paul Adam in New Delhi.
New Delhi: The Defence Minister A. K. Antony handed over a Dornier DO-228 to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Seychelles, Jean-Paul Adam at a function here today. The aircraft is built by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL). The maritime surveillance aircraft will be used to guard the extensive coast line of island nation.
“It is yet another milestone of our close friendship between our two countries,” said Antony. He congratulated HAL for delivering the aircraft much ahead of schedule and also asked HAL to maintain timelines for the products meant for the Indian armed forces.
The Foreign Minister of Seychelles thanked India for the aircraft and said it will enable his country to fight piracy and strengthen the overall security in the Indian Ocean.
“The aircraft delivered to Seychelles will be supported by HAL team for maintenance on site to enable the new user get the requisite expertise”, said R. K. Tyagi, Chairman, HAL.
The aircraft is equipped with the latest state-of-the-art facilities and is excellent platform of maritime applications, he added.
Mr. Waven Williams, High Commissioner for Seychelles to India, Major Micheal Pouponneau, Commanding Officer, Seychelles Air Force, Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral D.K. Joshi, R. K. Mathur, Secretary Defence Production, Sanjay Singh, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs were among the invitees present in the ceremony.
Fuelled by the growth prospects of this aircraft, HAL has also set eyes on export market. While the full aircraft structures are already being exported to Germany for assembly and supply to world-wide market, efforts are underway to achieve direct exports. The company is making efforts to export its product in the military markets in Mauritius, Nepal, Vietnam, South Africa, Afghanistan and Columbia. Efforts are also being made to into the civil export markets that are suited for HAL-DO-228s.
HAL manufactures this aircraft under license agreement with the erstwhile Dornier GmbH of Germany at its Transport Aircraft Division, Kanpur, and has world-wide unfettered sales and marketing rights. Along with the airframe, engines and several of the systems and avionics are also produced in house at various Divisions of HAL ensuring single window life-time support to the customers. The cockpit is designed to accommodate two crew members and is fitted with duplicate controls. The cabin can accommodate 19 passengers in commuter configuration.