Colombo, Aug 5 (PTI): Sri Lankan Navy has commissioned an India-built state-of-the-art Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel (AOPV), the first-ever purchase from a foreign ship builder, to boost its search and rescue capabilities.
Sri Lankan President and armed forces commander-in-chief Maithripala Sirisena commissioned the new patrol vessel ‘SLNS Sayurala’ this week at a ceremony at the Eastern Container Terminal of the Port of Colombo.
It is the largest vessel built by an Indian ship builder for a foreign navy to date. The event was also attended by Flag Officer Commander in Chief Southern Naval Command-Indian Navy Vice Admiral A R Karve.
Built at the Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) in India, SLNS Sayurala is the first-ever brand new platform purchased from a foreign ship builder and tailored for the specific requirements of the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN), a navy statement said. It is expected to conduct patrols, policing, surveillance, reconnaissance, search and rescue, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and pollution control missions in Sri Lanka’s maritime zones, the statement said. The 105.7 metre-long and 13.6 meter-wide vessel can also be used for external fire-fighting missions. Sayurala features a range of modern facilities and advanced technological instrument and is capable of achieving the maximum speed of 26 knots and cruising speed of 12-14 knots. It has a displacement of 2,350 tonnes.
Equipped with a landing facility and hangar for an advanced light helicopter (ALH), the vessel can accommodate a total of 118 crew members. The SLN signed the contract for two AOPVs on February 17, 2014 and officially initiated the construction of SLNS Sayurala in May the same year. It took delivery of the first AOPV on July 22 and transported the vessel to Sri Lanka on July 28. The second AOPV is currently under construction in India and is slated to join the SLN fleet by next year.