India gift Dornier Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft to Sri Lanka
India on August 15 gifted Sri Lanka a Dornier maritime reconnaissance aircraft that will enable the island nation to tackle a range of challenges such as human and drug trafficking and other organized crimes in its waters.
It was gifted at a special event at the Sri Lanka Air Force Base in Katunayake.
Sri Lankan Navy and Air Force personnel who have undergone training in India for nearly four months will operate the aircraft.
Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay were also present on the occasion.
The celebrations took place as India celebrates its 76th Independence Day and a day later China's high-tech missile and satellite surveillance vessel will anchor at Sri Lanka's Hambantota port.
The aircraft has been delivered to Sri Lanka by the Indian Navy to help meet the immediate security needs of Sri Lanka.
The Indian Navy has also given intensive training in maritime reconnaissance aircraft to a team of the Sri Lankan Navy and Air Force.
During the 2018 Defence Dialogue between India and Sri Lanka in New Delhi, Sri Lanka had discussed the possibility of acquiring two Dornier reconnaissance aircraft from India to enhance its maritime surveillance capabilities.
In March 2022, India and the Government of Sri Lanka signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide two Dornier 228 aircraft to the Sri Lankan Navy.
Dornier 228 Aircraft
It is a 17-seater non-pressurised aircraft that has a turboprop engine.
It is capable of day and night operations, short take-off and landing, and can take off from semi-prepared runways.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) started manufacturing Dornier-228 in India.
The Dornier-228 aircraft have been used by the armed forces so far.
Alliance Air had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with HAL to operate Dornier aircraft.
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