In a display of a strong regional partnership between India and Sri Lanka, Indian Navy has gifted its own Dornier Do-228 maritime patrol aircraft to the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF).
During the ceremonial event, Gopal Baglay, the Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, officially transferred the Dornier aircraft to Sagala Ratnayaka, Chief of Staff and Senior Adviser on national security to Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe.
This marks the second Dornier aircraft provided to SLAF through a grant from the Indian government.
The newly introduced aircraft replaces the initial Indian Navy Dornier given to Sri Lanka, which had been in service for a year, before being returned to India for maintenance following its ceremonial handover to President Ranil Wickremesinghe on 15 August 2022.
The incorporation of the advanced Indian Navy Dornier maritime reconnaissance aircraft greatly enhances Sri Lanka’s surveillance capabilities.
Indian High Commissioner Baglay underscored India’s commitment to enhancing Sri Lanka’s defence capabilities, in line with the 'security and growth for all in the region' (SAGAR) initiative.
The successful operational deployment of the Indian Navy Dornier aircraft in the past demonstrated its effectiveness in maritime reconnaissance and search and rescue missions.
It also streamlined operational coordination between the Indian Navy and the Sri Lanka Air Force.
Ratnayaka expressed gratitude for India’s consistent support, particularly during challenging periods.
He emphasised the enduring friendship between the two countries, noting that India's assistance extended beyond the aircraft, especially during economic difficulties.
The operational readiness and capabilities of the Dornier aircraft are expected to play a crucial role in addressing shared security challenges within the region, such as drug and human trafficking, smuggling, and search and rescue operations.
Equipped with advanced sensor technology, the Dornier empowers the Sri Lanka Air Force to safeguard its exclusive economic zone against maritime threats.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.