An Ex-People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) frigate donated by China to Sri Lanka arrived at the port of Colombo on July 8.
The ship, P 625, was warmly welcomed in compliance with time-honored naval traditions when it arrived at the harbour. Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in Sri Lanka, H.E. Cheng Xueyuan, Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva, Chief of Staff of the Navy, Rear Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne, Deputy Chief of Staff and Director General Operations, Rear Admiral Niraja Attygalle, Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Sumith Weerasinghe, Military, Naval and Air Attaché of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Sri Lanka, Senior Colonel Xu Jianwei and a host of senior officers from the Naval Headquarters and Western Naval Command were present on this occasion.
Subsequently, Commander of the Navy, flanked by senior officers, made an inspection visit onboard the ship and supervised the functional and operational aspects of the vessel. Meanwhile, the ship is scheduled to receive its auspicious commissioning in the near future.
The vessel is a Type 053H2G frigate earlier in service with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). It was commissioned to the fleet in 1994 and was known as Tongling (542) in PLAN service. Tongling was decommissioned in 2015 and was transferred to Sri Lanka Navy in September 2018 as P625.
The ship is 112 m long and 12.4 m wide, and has a displacement of around 2,300 tons. It has a complement of of 18 officers and 92 sailors.
P625 will be used for patrol and surveillance missions in the deep seas around Sri Lanka. It will also be used for search and rescue operations to provide security and assistance to naval and fisheries community.