India constructing more Advance OPVs for Sri Lanka

Defence news: India is slowly waking up to counter Chinese defence exports and encirclement of India. Weapons marketing is one area where nations make their most diplomatic muscle as far as export goes. This is one area where China has a lead, but hopefully India is ready to counter that. Indian export to lanka was in competition to Chinese offer. We hope to see more Indian products in this segment benefiting partners and pushing back the Chinese for good.

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ISLAND LANKA: President Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday (Aug 2) afternoon commissioned Sri Lanka’s newest acquisition; Indian built Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel (AOPV) SLNS Sayurala (P 623) at the Eastern Container Terminal of the Colombo port.

The length and the width of the ship are 105.7m and 13.6m respectively. President Sirisena received a naval guard of honour on his arrival at the Eastern Container Terminal. Subsequently, the first Commanding Officer of the ship, Captain Nishantha Amarosa received the commissioning warrant from President Sirisena after the review of the guard of honour.Thereupon, Captain Amarosa read out the Commissioning Warrant. Thereafter the President with the Commander of the Navy by his side unveiled the ship’s crest and name board

In addition to SLNS Sayurala, Sri Lanka intends to acquire three more OPVs in accordance with SLN maritime strategy 2025.

Indian government owned Goa Shipyard Limited built the AOPV under an agreement signed in Feb 2014. Wartime Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa signed the agreement on behalf of Sri Lanka.

Authoritative navy sources told The Island that according to plans developed during the current Navy Chief Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne’s tenure, Sri Lanka intended to deploy 20 ships by 2025. The proposed 20 vessel navy included eight in service before the acquisition of AOPV. The eight included four OPVs (SLNS Sayura, SLNS Samudura, SLNS Sagara and SLNS Jayasagara) two Fast Missile Vessels (SLNS Suranimala and SLNS Nandimitra) and two Fast Patrol Boats received from Australia. Twelve vessels expected to be acquired over the next couple of years comprises four OPVs, including the AOPV commissioned on Wednesday, two Fast Missile Vessels, two Frigates, two Fast Patrol Boats and two Corvettes.

Secretary, Defence Production India Ashok Kumar Gupta and Managing Director of the Goa Shipyard Limited retired Rear Admiral Shekhar Mital attended the event.

Flag Officer Commander in Chief Southern Naval Command-Indian Navy, Vice Admiral A.R. Karve was also present.

Goa Shipyard Limited is building a second AOPV ordered by Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka didn’t acquire brand new ships during the war that ended in May 2009. Sri Lanka will take delivery of a second vessel next year.

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