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President commissions Navy's new ship

President commissions Navy's new ship

'SLNS Sayurala' proudly joins the Sri Lanka Navy's fleet

[August 02 2017]

The largest Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel (AOPV) of the Sri Lanka Navy received its commission by President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Maithripala Sirisena during the commissioning ceremony held at the Eastern Container Terminal of the Colombo harbour this evening (02nd Wednesday, August 2017). The brand new AOPV joined the Navy's fleet, commissioned as 'SLNS Sayurala'.

State Minister of Defence Hon. Ruwan Wijewardene and Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Mr. Kapila Waidyaratne PC were also present at the occasion.

The President was received by Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne upon his arrival at the Colombo Harbour. Keeping with naval traditions the President was accorded a guard of honour. Subsequently the President formally handed over the Commissioning Warrant to the Commanding Officer of the ship which was then read by him.

Later the President boarded the ship and unveiled the ship's crest and name board amidst the blessings of the religious dignitaries present at the occasion. President accompanied by the State Minister, Secretary of Defence and Commander of the Navy and together with the other distinguished guests made an inspection visit of the ship. The Navy Commander briefed the President on the advanced features, modern facilities and hi-tech operational aspects of the new state of the art ship.

Constructed by the Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) in India 'SLNS Sayurala' is the first ever brand new AOPV purchased from a foreign ship builder, custom made for the specific requirements of the SLN. It is also the largest vessel of its kind to be acquired by the Navy. With a length of 105.7 m and width of 13.6m the vessel has a displacement of 2,350 tonnes. It can travel at a top speed of 26 knots and a cruising speed of 12-14 knots. It has a travel range of 7000 nautical miles and has landing facility and hangar for an Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH). The new vessel also has spacious accommodation and other facilities for the crew of 18 officers and 100 sailors.

The production of the vessel was officially initiated in May 2014 soon after signing of the contract on 17th February (2014) for two AOPVs. Subsequently the Keel of the first vessel was laid on 10th September (2014) and was ceremonially launched on 10th June 2016. The vessel was official taken over during a ceremony on 22nd July this year and brought to the island on the 28th, last month (July 2017).

'SLNS Sayurala' is expected to conduct patrols, policing, reconnaissance, surveillance, search and rescue, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and pollution control missions in Sri Lanka's territorial waters . It can also be used for external fire-fighting missions as well.

The remaining one of the two AOPVs being built in India is scheduled to join the SLN's fleet by next year. The Navy had conspicuously envisaged its future role as the sea-going arm is bound to protect the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 200 nm and the vast Search and Rescue (S&R) region of 1,738,062.24 km2 in due course.

Members of the Maha Sangha and other religious denominations, Minister of Ports and Shipping Hon. Mahinda Samarasinghe, Secretary (Defence Production) of the Ministry of Defence India, Mr. Asok Gupta, Chief of Defence Staff, Commanders of the Army and Air Force, Inspector General of Police, senior MoD officials, former navy commanders, members of the diplomatic corps, senior tri forces officers, distinguished invitees, naval personnel and school children were also present at this unique ceremony.


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