Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth of Mauritius are set to launch an airstrip and jetty facility on the Mauritian island of Agalega today. This will allow India to strengthen its maritime capabilities deep within the Indian Ocean region.

The 3 km long airstrip on Agalega can handle aircraft like the P-8I maritime surveillance plane, C-17 heavy lifter, IL-76 medium lifter and C-130J Super Hercules. It will provide critical support for maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare operations. 

The jetty being launched can dock Indian Navy destroyers or frigates, enabling logistic support and operational turnaround for warships deployed in the region. Around 50 Indian Navy personnel will already be stationed at Agalega to manage these facilities.

In addition to Agalega, India has established a maritime support base in Duqm port, Oman which offers maintenance for Indian ships. Plans are also underway to set up an air facility in North Agalega islands to boost Mauritius’ maritime security.

These developments will significantly expand India’s maritime presence deep into the Indian Ocean. As China enhances its naval power projection ability, with aircraft carrier battle groups expected by 2025-26, India aims to counter Beijing’s growing naval footprint in the region.

Recent years have seen a rise in the number of Chinese warships, submarines, research and satellite tracking vessels operating in the Indian Ocean. This has added to security concerns in New Delhi and other capitals. 

By developing support hubs in friendly nations like Mauritius and Oman, India looks to strengthen maritime domain awareness, coastal surveillance and ensure freedom of navigation. This will also benefit other countries seeking secure sea lanes in the region.

The Agalega facilities launched today are a major milestone in India’s efforts to bolster its defensive capabilities along critical sea routes. With Mauritius’ support, India is taking measured steps to secure its interests against expanding Chinese maritime influence across the Indian Ocean.

India’s strategic partnership with Mauritius plays a pivotal role in this strategy. By assisting Mauritius with maritime security facilities, India also strengthens its friend’s ability to safeguard key trade routes and tourism assets. Both nations gain enhanced surveillance of activities in the southwest Indian Ocean. As China continues growing its naval strength, such cooperative initiatives will prove increasingly important to India and other Indian Ocean countries seeking regional stability. Experts think it is a really good initiative taken.