Naval Dockyard has formally handed over Maldivian Coast Guard Ship CGS Huravee to Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) on Wednesday after the completion of a refit. Admiral Superintendent of Visakhapatnam Naval Dockyard Rear Admiral Sreekumar Nair handed over the ship to Commanding Officer Major Hussain Rasheed during a ceremony which was attended by Defence Advisor of Maldives to India Colonel Ahmed Thohir as well. CGS Huravee arrived at Visakhapatnam in February 2020 for a refit which was completed in about 10 months amid the COVID-19 induced lockdown and restrictions.
Speaking at the ceremony, Col Ahmed Thohir expressed gratitude towards the Indian Navy and also read out a message from the Maldives Defence Minister. As per the message read out by the Colonel, Maldives Defence Minister hailed Headquar Eastern Naval Command, Indian Navy and Government of India for the ‘excellent conduct and smooth & safe completion of the refit’ amid the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, Chief Guest of the event, Rear Admiral Sreekumar Nair spoke of the strict measures adhered to during the refit in order to ensure that the workforce remained free of COVID-19 infection whilst meeting the refit targets.
Refit of CGS Huravee
Soon after the MNDF ship arrived at Visakhapatnam in February, COVID-19 outbreak in the country led to lockdown and restrictions in March. Despite the challenges, Visakhapatnam Naval Dockyard dedicated efforts while carefully planning and executing the work with safety measures in place. The main propulsion and auxiliary equipment of CGS Huravee were refurbished/replaced during the refit. The power generation equipment of the MNDF CGS ship was renewed which in turn increased its endurance and capabilities, according to Indian Navy’s press release. Numerous other systems and equipment were repaired to improve the performance and sustainability of CGS Huravee. It was also put through ‘extensive harbour and sea trials’ to test and to achieve ‘full operational readiness’.
CGS Huravee was originally INS Tillanchang and was gifted to Maldives National Defence Force by Indian Government in 2006. Indian Navy also promised technical and material assistance for a period of 3 years while deploying an Indian Navy team to train the Maldivian personnel for a preliminary period and on-the-job training, as a part of the transfer. This gift was aimed at strengthening the ties between India and Maldives in a bid to increase the maritime and defence cooperation between the Navies of the two nations to ensure the safety of the Indian Ocean region. INS Tillanchang is an indigenously built patrol vessel of the Trinkat class. It was constructed at Kolkata Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers and was commissioned in Indian Navy in March 2001.