Sri Lanka Navy will take delivery of the Vietnam
war vintage vessel 378-foot High Endurance Cutter Sherman from the United
States Coast Guard (USCG) by next month. As per the agreement reached with
Washington, US coast guards are gifting the vessel to the Sri Lankan navy. The
vessel will help the country to undertake long haul surveillance operations in
the Indian Ocean region in the post war scenario, senior Sri Lankan official
told the Local media.
A section of the Sri Lankan Naval crew assigned
to the vessel is receiving training on board the vessel at USCG base Honolulu.
The US Coast Guards have decommissioned the 50-year-old ship in March this
A Senior Sri Lankan Naval official told local
media that larger vessels were required for post-war responsibilities.
"We need bigger platforms to patrol the 200 mile exclusive economic zone.
The acquisition of USCG Cutter is in line with the overall strategy," the
official said. In accordance with the agreement between the US and Sri Lanka,
the latter had to pay for repairs, spare parts etc although the vessel was
The transfer of the vessel to Sri Lanka is
scheduled to take place on the helipad of the vessel at USCG base at Honolulu
by third week of August. The vessel is likely to stay there for a couple of
months to complete the repairs.
The United States Coast Guards vessel Sherman is
one of only two of its class vessels to receive the Vietnam Service Award and
the only Coast Guard Cutter to acquire the Combat Action Ribbon for action in
the Vietnam War. Sherman is the last decommissioned warship in the Coast Guard
to have sunk an enemy vessel in combat.
According to Naval sources, Sri Lanka would also
receive an old Chinese frigate mounted with 100 mm weapon. Sources said that
Chinese frigate was a grant and in line with decades long bilateral defense
Sources said that almost a decade after the
conclusion of the war, Sri Lanka was engaged expanding its capacity to
efficiently patrol its exclusive economic zone. Sri Lanka took delivery of state-of-the
art two Indian built Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessels (AOPVs) after the last
presidential poll in January 2015. In addition to the two APOVs-SLNS Sayurala
and SLNS Sindurala, the SLN fleet includes five Offshore Patrol Vessels, one
Landing Ship Tank, four Fast Gun Boats, two auxiliary ships (both gifted by
Australia) et al.
Sri Lankan Coast guard took delivery of two new 30 meter long Japanese built
patrol boats recently. They are expected to be commissioned shortly. The
Japanese government had provided a grant of 18 million US dollars to purchase
After the War, Navy is engaged in discouraging
Indian fishing fleet regularly crossing the international maritime boundary and
effective policing of high seas.