The Sri Lankan Navy has commissioned two patrol boats, which were donated by the Australian Government, at a ceremony at the Port of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Named SLNS Mihikatha and SLNS Rathnadeepa, the vessels belong to the Bay-class patrol boats of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS).
SLNS Mihikatha arrived at the port on 24 April, and served the ACBPS under the name Corio Bay with the pennant number P350.
SLNS Rathnadeepa, which was called Harvey Bay and numbered P351, arrived on 25 June.
The 38.2m-long patrol boats have a range of 3000nm and can cruise at a speed of 24k.
They were designed to support other Australian law enforcement and defence agencies, including the Australian Federal Police, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Royal Australian Navy, among others.
The boats are also capable of performing strategic patrols and tactical surveillance and enforcement for various agencies, to address the eight maritime security threats within and beyond Australia’s 200nm exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
They were used to prevent people, drug and weapons smuggling, as well as apprehend foreign fishing vessels.
In addition, they gathered information and intelligence, monitored environmental pollution, assisted the park management of offshore nature reserves and marine parks, and took part in search and rescue efforts.
Image: The Sri Lankan Navy commissions the two patrol boats at a ceremony. Photo: © 2009 Ministry of Defence and Urban Development – Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.