India on Wednesday handed over an option of Dornier-228 maritime surveillance aircraft to Sri Lanka, reaffirming its security ties with Colombo and boosting the island nation’s surveillance capabilities.

The Dornier-228 maritime surveillance aircraft, originally gifted, is currently undergoing annual maintenance in India.

In a statement, the office of President Ranil Wickremesinghe said the aircraft was handed over by India to Sri Lanka at a ceremony held at the Sri Lanka Air Force base in Katunayake.

During the bilateral security discussions between India and Sri Lanka, in New Delhi on January 9, 2018, the possible acquisition of Dornier type maritime surveillance aircraft from India was noted. The aim was to enhance Sri Lanka’s capabilities in maritime surveillance, the statement said.

“In response to Sri Lanka’s request, the Government of India took proactive steps during these consultations. They agreed to provide Sri Lanka a Donier-228 maritime surveillance aircraft, which was part of the Indian Navy fleet, free of charge for a period of two years. decided. year,” it added.

Following its delivery, the Donier-228 aircraft played a key role in carrying out special operations within Sri Lanka last year. Thereafter, it underwent mandatory annual maintenance services in India.

Since its initial arrival in Sri Lanka, the Donier-228 maritime surveillance aircraft has contributed significantly to several missions. These include a spectrum of activities such as monitoring and protecting Sri Lanka’s airspace and exclusive economic zone through maritime and coastal surveillance functions, executing search and rescue operations, and monitoring and controlling marine pollution.

The official handover of the successor aircraft to Sri Lanka was attended by a delegation representing the Sri Lankan government. The delegation included Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka, Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Staff to the President, Gopal Baglay, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka and General Kamal Gunaratne (Retd), Secretary, Ministry of Defense and other officials.

“It is not only for this aircraft that we have received assistance from India. It has been a long-standing relationship, but in the recent past, when we were going through an economic crisis, India went beyond the call of duty to help us. of.” Ratnayaka said on the occasion.

(Only the headline and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content was auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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