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President commissions Navy's new ship SLNS Gajabahu

President commissions Navy's new ship "SLNS Gajabahu"

[June 07 2019]

The largest Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel (AOPV) of the Sri Lanka Navy, P 626, acquired form US Government was commissioned as SLNS 'Gajabahu' by President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena during the Commissioning Ceremony held at the Colombo harbor, yesterday evening (06 June 2019).

The President was received by Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva upon his arrival at the Colombo Harbour. Keeping with naval traditions the President was accorded a guard of honour. Subsequently the President formally handed over the Commissioning Warrant to the Commanding Officer of the ship, Captain Rohitha Abeysinghe which was then read by him.

Later, the President boarded the ship and unveiled the ship's crest and name board amidst the blessings of the religious dignitaries present at the occasion. The President accompanied by the State Minister, Secretary of Defence and Commander of the Navy and together with the other distinguished guests made an inspection visit of the ship. The Navy Commander briefed the President on the advanced features, modern facilities and hi-tech operational aspects of the new ship.

This US Coast Guard was officially handed over to the Sri Lanka Navy, at Honolulu, Hawaii, on 27 August 2018. It is 115m long and 13m wide and can cruise at a maximum speed of 28 knots. The ship carries a crew is 22 officers and 111 sailors. SLNS 'Gajabahu', is equipped with weapons, communications, aviation and other operating systems. The Navy hopes to utilize this new platform for patrol and surveillance missions in the deep seas around the island providing maritime security and assistance to search and rescue operations.

Members of the Maha Sangha, State Minister of Defence Hon. Ruwan Wijewardene, Presidential Secretary Mr. Udaya R Seneviratne, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence General (Rtd) Shantha Kottegoda, U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Ms. Alaina B. Teplitz, Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Air Force Air Marshal Sumangala Dias, Senior officers and sailors of Navy were also present at the occasion.


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