India gifts Dornier 228 maritime patrol aircraft to Sri Lanka Air Force
ECONOMYNEXT – The Indian Air force has gifted a Dornier 228 Maritime Patrol Aircraft to the Sri Lankan Air Force, with another aircraft to be donated within two years, a Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) statement said.
The donation was in response to a request made by the Sri Lankan government in 2018 for two Dornier Reconnaissance Aircraft from India to enhance the maritime surveillance capabilities of the country, SLAF said on Saturday August 13.
“The government of India (GOI) has agreed to provide one (01) Dornier 228 Maritime Patrol Aircraft from Indian Naval Fleet on gratis basis for initial two (02) years of the interim period since it would be required two years to manufacture new aircraft (sp),” said the air force.
“Afterwards, the Indian government expressed their assent to provide a brand new Dornier 228 Maritime Patrol Aircraft free of charge. Subsequently, another brand new Dornier 228 will be inducted to Sri Lanka Air Force through mutually agreed terms and conditions between both countries (sp).”
The aircraft gifted this week is a Naval Dornier (INDO – 228), a Short Takeoff and Landing multirole light transport aircraft with a turboprop twin-engine, in production since 1981.
SLAF said the aircraft will be inducted to its fleet on August 15 in a ceremonial procession with the participation of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, High Commissioner of India Gopal Baglay, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Gen Kamal Gunerathne and Commander of the Air Force Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana at the SLAF base in Katunayake.
According to the airforce, only an SLAF crew of 15 who were specifically trained in India for a period of four months – comprising pilots, observers, engineering officers and technicians with supervision by a GOI technical team attached to SLAF comprising engineering officers and technicians – will be allowed to use and maintain the aircraft.
The SLAF intends to use the Dornier aircraft specifically to conduct maritime and coastal surveillance operations within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), search and rescue operations (SAR), casualty evacuation (CASEVAC) and maritime pollution monitoring and control within the Sri Lankan Search and Rescue Region. (Colombo/Aug13/2022)