India to Supply Landing Assault Craft to Maldives

Foreign Affairs

New Delhi: Indo-Maldives defence relations received a major boost with India announcing the supply of a second Landing Craft Assault (LCA) and a replacement ship for earlier provided CGS Huravee to bolster the maritime apparatus of Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF).

Landing Craft Assault (LCA) is an amphibious naval vessel designed for transport of ground forces during amphibious assault operations. It can transport cargo and personnel from landing helicopter docks (LHD) to coastal areas.

India has also announced the gifting of ‘24 Utility Vehicles to continue the support for modernisation of MNDF infrastructure and equipment. Further, a grant assistance of $50 million Line of Credit facility has also been approved for carrying plethora of defence projects.

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“Prime Minister Modi announced supply of the second Landing Assault Craft (LCA) and a replacement ship for earlier provided CGS Huravee from Government of India for Maldives National Defence Force to Government of Maldives,” a Joint Statement by India-Maldives mentioned.

President Solih thanked Prime Minister Modi for India’s continuing support for modernisation of MNDF infrastructure and equipment, through grant assistance and the US$ 50 mn Line of Credit facility for defence projects, the statement further mentioned.

Notably, India has rolled out a slew of assistance to Maldives including a US$ 100 million line of credit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi exhorting that close defence and security coordination between the two sides is vital for peace and stability in the entire region.

After wide-ranging talks between Prime Minister Modi and visiting President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the two nations signed six agreements to expand overall cooperation in a range of areas such as cyber security, housing and disaster management.

Recognizing that the security of India and the Maldives are interlinked, the two leaders agreed on energizing cooperation in maritime security, maritime domain awareness, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief through the implementation of underway projects and capacity building initiatives.

Prime Minister Modi also reaffirmed India’s commitment to strengthen cooperation in line with India’s Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) vision

Notably, Indian-Maldives are carrying strategic harbour projects viz pre-construction of the Coast Guard Harbour at SIFAVARU, which would assist the Government of Maldives in enhancing the capability of Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) in exercising jurisdiction and undertaking maritime surveillance of its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and atolls.

India also helped Maldives in establishing the National College for Policing and Law Enforcement (NCPLE) at Addu City which was inaugurated in March 2022.