An ex-US Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) called Sherman has arrived at the port of Colombo for use by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) as part of an agreement with the US Government.
The vessel was formally handed over to the Sri Lanka Navy during a ceremony held at Honolulu, Hawaii, US, in August last year.
Commanded by captain Rohitha Abeysinghe, the ship will help increase the operational capability of the island nation’s sea arm.
A ceremony was conducted to mark the arrival of the ship. Sri Lanka Navy commander vice-admiral Piyal De Silva, navy chief of staff rear admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne and several other officials were in attendance.
Officials inspected the vessel and supervised its functional and operational aspects.
Ex-USCGC Sherman is expected to be commissioned by Sri Lanka President and Armed Forces commander-in-chief Maithripala Sirisena ‘in the near future’.
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Spanning 115m, the ship is set to be the largest platform in the navy’s fleet once it enters service.
The vessel is equipped with advanced weapons and machinery and can accommodate a crew of 22 officers and 111 sailors.
The navy intends to use the ship to perform patrol and surveillance missions in the deep seas around Sri Lanka to ensure maritime security and offer assistance to search-and-rescue operations.
Sherman was decommissioned by the US Coast Guard in March last year, having been in service for nearly 50 years.
The US Government gifted the cutter to Sri Lanka under the Foreign Assistance Act.
Sri Lanka previously received USCGC Courageous (WMEC-622) in 2004. The vessel is designated SLNS Samudura and is currently serving the Sri Lanka Navy.