Author: Alan, 5B4AHJ

The Maldive Islands comprise a double chain of 26 atolls in the Laccadive Sea, Indian Ocean.

The Maldive Islands became a British protectorate in 1887, and remained as such until the Maldives gained independence from the United Kingdom on 1965-07-26. Maldive Islands became a republic in 1968, the Republic of Maldives. In that period the VS9M prefix was used, although there were a few special callsigns, such as VS9RAF, that didn't use the 'M' suffix. The  prefix range 8QA-8QZ was probably allocated to the Republic of the Maldives in early 1967.

The southernmost atoll, Addu, was home to the British base, RAF Gan, which was located on the southernmost island, Gan.. The airbase was established in 1957, and closed on 1976-03-29. RAF Gan was home to the well-known club station VS9MB, from which much amateur radio activity took place. The British paid rent for the use of Gan island for the air base. After the 8Q prefix was used from the Maldives, the VS9M prefix continued to be used from RAF Gan.

Prefix mapping in Club Log

Prefix DXCC entity Start date End date Note
VS9 Maldives
1976-03-29 VS9 is used rather than VS9M in order that VS9RAF and other
Maldive calls having a different first letter of the suffix
are mapped without requiring a callsign exception.
Other Indian Ocean islands that used the VS9 prefix are mapped
by a four-character prefix, eg VS9P = Perim. 
8Q Maldives 1967-01-01

Related articles

Maldive Islands - Islands of Addu Atoll - Zone & Continent


DX News Sheet #263, published by Geoff Watts

Wikipedia: Maldives

Wikipedia: RAF Gan