India and Mauritius have recently inaugurated an airstrip and a jetty on Agaléga, an island duo in the western Indian Ocean, enhancing both nations’ maritime capabilities. These developments are part of broader community development initiatives.

Agaléga consists of two islands, North and South Island, situated approximately 1,100 kilometres north of Port Louis, Mauritius’ capital, and 2,500 kilometres southwest of Malé, the Maldives’ capital.


Strategic Significance of the Agaléga Airstrip:

Enhanced Reach in the Indian Ocean:

  • The upgraded airstrip and jetty extend India’s operational reach in the Indian Ocean, particularly along the east coast of Africa.
  • This expansion is crucial for countering growing Chinese influence in the region, including in the Maldives.

Operational Upgrades:

  • Previously, the North Agaléga Island airstrip supported only the Indian Navy’s Dornier aircraft. With the upgrade, it now accommodates the larger P8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft.
  • This enhancement allows for more extensive monitoring capabilities, covering the eastern and southern coasts of Africa and the western and southern Indian Ocean.

Maritime Domain Awareness:

  • The upgraded facilities significantly improve India’s maritime domain awareness, enabling a broader range of maritime operations.
  • Increased shipping activity, partly due to rerouting of commercial ships to the Cape of Good Hope amidst Red Sea tensions, underscores the strategic importance of this enhanced capability.


  • India and Mauritius have a history of close cooperation in maritime security, with Indian defence officers serving in the Mauritian Defence Forces.
  • India’s contributions include six helicopters, five ships, three aircraft, and ten Fast Interceptor boats, alongside the establishment of a Coastal Surveillance Radar System in Mauritius.
  • Beyond Mauritius, India has strengthened its diplomatic and military ties with Seychelles and African nations like Madagascar, highlighting its commitment to regional security and cooperation.
Legacy Editor Changed status to publish July 9, 2024