Offshore Patrol Vessel CG 60, which the Indian Coast Guard had provided to the Sri Lanka Coast Guard (SLCG), was commissioned by State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene as SLCG Suraksha at a ceremony held at Colombo Harbour on Saturday.
The Navy said the newly commissioned ship, the first Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) to be inducted into its fleet, would be used by the Sri Lanka Coast Guard for patrolling and surveillance in Sri Lanka waters, humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations, prevention of maritime pollution as well as training purposes.
SLCGS Suraksha had earlier belonged to the Indian Coast Guard and it was officially handed over to the Sri Lanka Navy at a ceremony held at the Port of Kochi in India last month.
The OPV, with a displacement of 1,160 tons, is 74.10m in length and 11.4m in breadth. It can sail at a speed of 22 nautical miles per hour. Manned by a crew of 14 officers and 86 sailors, the vessel can cover 8,500 nautical miles maintaining a speed of 16 nautical miles per hour.
Sri Lanka is in possession of an Exclusive Economic Zone of 200 nautical miles and will own a sea area spanning 1,738,062.24 square kilometres in the near future.
The Navy said the SLCGS Suraksha would play a crucial role in strengthening the country’s naval capabilities
Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Kapila Waidyaratne, the High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, Shri Taranjit Singh Sandhu, Navy Commander Vice Admiral Travis Sinniah, Air Force Commander Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathy, Director General of the SLCG, Rear Admiral Samantha Wimalathunge graced the commissioning ceremony held in accordance with naval traditions. (Darshana Sanjeewa)