Colombo, Aug 5 (IANS) An Indian-built Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel (AOPV) has been commissioned by the Sri Lankan navy at a ceremony in Colombo harbour.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena launched the country’s newest acquisition– “SLNS Sayurala”–earlier this week at the ceremony at the Eastern Container Terminal of the Port of Colombo. Flag Officer Commander in Chief Southern Naval Command-Indian Navy, Vice Admiral A.R. Karve, attended the event.
Constructed by the Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) in India, it is the first-ever brand new AOPV purchased from a foreign ship builder, custom-made for the specific requirements of the Sri Lankan Navy. A Ministry of Defence release said that it is the largest vessel of its kind to be acquired by the Navy.
With a length of 105.7 metre and width of 13.6 metre, the vessel has a displacement of 2,350 tonnes. The GSL built the AOPV under an agreement signed on February 2014 and it was handed over to the Sri Lankan Navy on July 22.
In addition to SLNS Sayurala, Sri Lanka intends to acquire three more OPVs in accordance with SLN maritime strategy 2025, the Island newspaper reported.
The Goa Shipyard Limited is also building a second AOPV for Sri Lanka and it will be joining the country’s fleet next year.
SLNS Sayurala will go on its first mission later this month.