In a move aimed at addressing concerns from the Maldives, India is set to replace military personnel operating Dhruv helicopters and a Dornier aircraft with civilian technicians from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and other sources. This decision comes as part of a “workable solution” agreed upon by both nations.
Currently, around 85 Indian military personnel stationed in the Maldives maintain and operate these aircraft, which play a crucial role in humanitarian aid and medical evacuations. As per the new plan, these personnel will be progressively replaced by non-uniformed personnel, including HAL pilots and technicians, between March and April 2024.
This shift is expected to address concerns raised by the Maldivian government regarding the presence of Indian military personnel on their soil. While the details of the agreement remain undisclosed, it likely involves a combination of factors, including: