India is ready to train Maldivian pilots to fly military aircraft and helicopters, the nation’s Ministry of External Affairs has said. MEA Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal made the statement while responding to a press conference query on the future of the helicopters and Dornier aircraft donated by India to the Maldives.

Jaiswal, replying to the question, said that the most important parts of the defence agreements between the nations included enhancing the capabilities of the Maldivian army and that, if requested, India would offer training to Maldivian pilots.

“[India] has already trained [Maldivians] in the military and if they ask us to train pilots in the future, we are happy to do so,” Jaiswal said.

Meanwhile, the Indian troops, who had been stationed in the Maldives, returned to India as of May 10th and were replaced by civilian pilots and technical staff.

India had committed to train Maldivian pilots to fly the Dornier aircraft even during the Ibrahim Mohamed Solih administration, with MNDF, in 2021, confirming that four soldiers had completed the pilot training programme at India’s Naval School.

Defence Minister Ghassan Maumoon, however, told a press conference after the departure of the last batch of Indian troops that there was no longer a single licensed pilot in the MNDF who had completed training in flying the Dornier or the helicopters.