The Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel (AOPV) constructed at India’s state-owned Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) for the Sri Lanka Navy arrived at the Colombo harbour on 28 July, the Navy said in a statement.
This welcoming ceremony was attended by Director General Operations, Rear Admiral Piyal De Silva, Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Niraja Attygalle, Flag Officer Commanding Naval Fleet, Rear Admiral Kapila Samaraweera, Director General Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Rear Admiral Upul Ekanayake and a cross section of officers from the Naval Headquarters and Western Naval Command.
Subsequently, the Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne made an inspection visit onboard ship and supervised the functional and operational aspects of the new AOPV.
The ship is commanded by Captain (N) Nishantha Amarosa and its crew consists of 18 officers and 100 sailors.
The ship is scheduled to be commissioned by the Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena at the Colombo harbour premises on August 2 as SLNS Sayurala.
This is the first ever brand-new OPV acquisition for the Sri Lanka Navy. Besides it remains to be the biggest warship ever made for a foreign navy by an Indian shipbuilder. The ship underwent various trials and tests before she set sail to her final destination, Sri Lanka to affirm her operational and patrolling capabilities.
The contract was signed on 17th February 2014. The agreement included two Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessels (AOPVs) for the Sri Lanka Navy and the production of the first AOPV began on 15th May 2014. The Keel of the first vessel was laid on 10th Sep 2014 and was ceremonially launched on 10th June 2016.
On 22nd July, the Chief of Staff of Sri Lanka Navy, Rear Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe marked the official taking over of the ship at the GSL during a ceremony presided over by the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in India, H. E. (Mrs.) Chitranganee Wagiswara.
The twin sister of this AOPV which is currently being built by the same shipbuilder is also scheduled to join SLN fleet in the next year.