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On Independence Day, India hands over Dornier aircraft to Sri Lanka

New Delhi: As India handed over a Dornier maritime surveillance aircraft to the Sri Lanka Navy to strengthen bilateral defence cooperation, the Indian envoy said here on Monday that mutual understanding, trust, and cooperation improve the security of India and Sri Lanka. The handover ceremony was attended by Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe. Vice Admiral […]

Edited By : Vikas Kumar | Updated: Aug 16, 2022 16:55 IST
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New Delhi: As India handed over a Dornier maritime surveillance aircraft to the Sri Lanka Navy to strengthen bilateral defence cooperation, the Indian envoy said here on Monday that mutual understanding, trust, and cooperation improve the security of India and Sri Lanka.

The handover ceremony was attended by Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Vice Admiral S N Ghormade, accompanied by Indian High Commissioner in Colombo Gopal Baglay, handed over the maritime surveillance aircraft to the Sri Lanka Navy at the Sri Lanka Airforce base in Katunayake, which is adjacent to the Colombo international airport.

“Security of #India and #Srilanka is enhanced by mutual understanding, mutual trust and cooperation. Gifting of Dornier 228 is #India’s latest contribution to this cause,” High Commissioner Baglay said at the handing over event.

“Like fruits of other areas of cooperation with India, the gift of Dornier to @airforcelk is of relevance to and a step to meet its requirements for maritime safety and security. It is an example of India’s strength adding to the strength of its friends,” he said.

The ceremony took place on India’s 75th anniversary of independence.

According to sources in New Delhi, the aircraft is being provided to Sri Lanka from the Indian Navy’s inventory to assist the country in meeting its immediate security needs.

A team from Sri Lanka’s Navy and Air Force has already received extensive training to operate the maritime surveillance aircraft from the Indian Navy.

“Sri Lanka has been a key partner of India and we will continue to expand our bilateral defence cooperation in the months and years to come,” a senior official said in New Delhi on condition of anonymity.

Recalling the arrangement, Sri Lankan officials previously stated that during the India-Sri Lanka Defence Dialogue in New Delhi in January 2018, Sri Lanka requested two Dornier Reconnaissance Aircraft from India to improve the island nation’s maritime surveillance capabilities.

According to sources in New Delhi, India will provide Sri Lanka with two Dornier aircraft manufactured by the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

Once these two HAL-built aircraft are delivered, the Dornier aircraft delivered on Monday will be returned to the Indian Navy.

The aircraft will be flown and maintained by 15 Sri Lanka Airforce crew members who received four months of special training in India.

The crew consists of pilots, observers, engineering officers, and technicians. They will be supervised by a technical team from the Government of India attached to the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF).

The team would conduct comprehensive inspections of the aircraft, airframe, aircraft support equipment, ground support equipment, and relevant documents, as well as ensure the operational readiness of all assets, the SLAF said earlier on Monday.

First published on: Aug 16, 2022 04:55 PM IST

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