The Sri ankan Navy Chief Vice Admiral (VA) Jayanath Colombage yesterday said that the government was in the process of working out modalities to enhance the SLN’s offshore patrolling/surveillance capability.
He said that the SLN intended to acquire five Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs). “We are having discussions with relevant parties to the transaction.
Of the five vessels, two will be acquired from one source and the rest from others,” he said. The SLN Chief was responding to a query by The Island yesterday.
He said that a MoU as regards the acquisition of two ships could be worked out soon.
“Strengthening of OPV capability,” VA Colombage said would be a post-war priority.
Sri Lanka’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zone extend 12 and 200 nautical miles from the coastline.
The current SLN OPV fleet comprises SLNS Sayura (acquired from India), SLNS Sagara (India), SLNS Samudura (US), SLNS Nandimithra (Israel), SLNS Suranimala (Israel) and SLNS Jayasagara (Colombo Dockyard Limited). Except for SLNS Jayasagara.
The Sri Lankan navy has 55,000 strong regular and volunteer forces. Three of SLN OPVs are capable of carrying choppers.