12 Sep :Topaz, the frontline patrol ship of the Seychelles Coast Guard proceeded to India on 06 Sep 08 for major repairs and dry-docking. The ship was seen off by representatives of the SCG and the Indian Naval Advisor (Technical). An Indian Naval Warship waiting outside the territorial waters of Seychelles took her undertow.
Seychelles Coast Guard Ship Topaz is scheduled to arrive in Indian waters on the morning of 13 Sep 08. This is the ship’s first port of call after the Indian Govt gifted her to the SCG in Feb 2005. The ship is a potent Fast attack craft and was earlier commissioned in Indian navy as INS Tarmugli 09 Mar 2002. The ship is on its way to Visakhapatnam where the ship’s refit would be conducted. It is estimated that the ship’s refit including the dry-docking will cost approximately USD 4 million.
The ship will undergo major repairs on its underwater and above water hull including shafting and propellers. Major overhauls would also be undertaken on its Main Engines, Diesel Generators, AC Plants, HP Air Compressors and other auxiliaries.
The ship, with a complement of four officers and thirty-three sailors and a maximum speed of 27 knots, is tasked to detect, locate and destroy fast moving surface craft, bearing terrorist groups engaged in anti-national activities and also for anti-smuggling, fisheries protection and search and rescue (SAR). The ship is also capable of mobilizing a Quick Reaction Team (QRT) of up to a garrison of 35 men at short notice.
Maritime concerns of littoral states in the IOR range from apprehensions about illegal EEZ exploitation to the most dreadful concerns such as terrorist attacks on maritime assets. The Indian Navy appreciates that smaller littorals within the IOR are inadequately equipped to face such serious security challenges. Therefore, the Indian Navy is continuously engaged in a process of mutual cooperation with IOR littorals for enhancing maritime security in the region. The latest initiative in this direction is the IONS movement that proposes all IOR countries to discuss issues on a common platform and share concerns collectively and individually.