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The Maldives’ recent decision to replace Indian Dornier aircraft and helicopters with Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones has raised strategic and operational concerns. Despite the allure of advanced drone technology, the Indian Dornier aircraft offer capabilities that drones cannot match.

The Maldives, seeking to diversify its strategic partnerships, has opted for a new security approach. This includes acquiring defense equipment from China and Turkey. However, experts believe the chosen replacements may not be optimal for the Maldives’ specific requirements.

The Dornier is a multi-role aircraft capable of maritime patrol, surveillance, cargo transport, and medical evacuation – crucial functionalities for a geographically dispersed island nation. The Dornier’s ability to perform search and rescue operations in the vast Indian Ocean is invaluable for the Maldives.

The Dornier can function effectively in diverse weather conditions, ensuring reliable operations throughout the year. Drones are generally more susceptible to electronic countermeasures and air defenses compared to manned aircraft.

Operating and maintaining sophisticated drones like the TB2 requires significant infrastructure investment, which may not be readily available in the Maldives.

Experts suggest that the Dornier 228 offers a more balanced solution for the Maldives. Its versatility, all-weather capabilities, and suitability for search and rescue operations make it a more appropriate choice for the country’s maritime security needs.

The Maldives’ decision to switch from the Dornier to the Bayraktar TB2 raises questions about the effectiveness of their new security strategy. While diversification of partnerships is a valid approach, carefully evaluating equipment based on specific needs is crucial. The Dornier’s proven track record and its alignment with the Maldives’ maritime security requirements make it a more compelling option for safeguarding the island nation’s interests.