President commissions Navy's new ship
proudly joins the Sri Lanka Navy's fleet
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
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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