The vessel P 625 acquired by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) from the People’s Republic of China in a bid to increase the operational capability of the island’s sea arm, was commissioned as SLNS ‘Parakramabahu’ on a ceremonial note by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena, at Colombo harbour today (22nd August 2019).
Religious dignitaries of all faiths including the Venerable Maha Sangha, Secretaries to the Ministries including the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, General (Rtd) Shantha Kottegoda, the Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China in Sri Lanka HE Cheng Xueyuan, Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva, Commander of the Air Force Air Marshal, Sumangala Dias and a host of distinguished invitees graced this occasion.
Besides, the Chief of Staff of the Navy Rear Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenna, Deputy Chief of Staff and Director General Operations Rear Admiral Niraja Attygalle, Director Generals and Directors of the Navy, senior officers and sailors were also present on this ceremonial occasion.
Subsequently, the ceremony saw the Commanding Officer of the ship, Captain Nalindra Jayasinghe receiving the Commissioning Warrant from His Excellency the President - the Chief Guest of the event. Thereupon, the Commanding Officer of the ship read out the Commissioning Warrant pledging his bounden duty in safeguarding the interests of the nation with full of respect and honour.
Afterwards, His Excellency the President flanked by the Commander of the Navy, got onboard ship and unveiled the ship’s crest and name board among the blessings of religious dignitaries, to designate the new AOPV as Sri Lanka Navy Ship (SLNS) ‘Parakramabahu’. Further, the President together with distinguished guests also went onto inspect the facilities and instrument fitted onboard the vessel and he was briefed on the advanced technological instrument of the ship by Commander of the Navy.
This vessel which was previously owned by the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) of China, was officially handed over to the Sri Lanka Navy, during a ceremony held at Shanghai, China on 5th June 2019.
The 112m long and 12.4m wide ship which was built in 1991 and commissioned in 1994, has the maximum speed of 25 knots as well. Besides, it has a displacement of 2,300 tons and the ship’s crew is consists of 18 officers and 92 sailors.
The ship is equipped with weapons, communications, aviation and other operating systems. The ship will be utilized for patrol and surveillance missions in the deep seas around Sri Lanka providing the maritime security and assistance to search and rescue operations.