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Sri Lankan Coast Guard has commissioned Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) SURAKSHA gifted by India at Colombo port. It is first OPV of Sri Lankan Coast Guard.
Sri Lankan Coast Guard Ship (SLCGS) Suraksha earlier belonged to Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and was known as Varuna. It was officially handed over to Sri Lanka Navy at ceremony held at Kochi Port in India in September 2017.
SLCGS Suraksha is 74.10m in length and 11.4m in breadth. It has displacement of 1,160 tons. It can sail at speed of 22 nautical miles per hour. It can cover 8,500 nautical miles maintaining speed of 16 nautical miles per hour. It is manned by crew of 14 officers and 86 sailors.
It will be used by Sri Lanka Coast Guard for patrolling and surveillance in Sri Lanka waters, humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations, prevention of maritime pollution as well as training purposes. Besides it play a crucial role in strengthening the Sri Lanka’s naval capabilities
It was inducted into Indian Coast Guard in February 1988 and provided three decades of service in India. It was fourth of in its class of OFV built by the Mumbai-based Mazagon Dock. It has numerous operational achievements and had recorded a number of arrests of smugglers with gold worth several crore in the late 1980s. It was used as cadet training ship for the last 10 years and was part of the 1st Training Squadron (1 TS) of the Indian Navy which trains officer sea trainees of both the Navy as well as the Coast Guard.