In order to broaden the missions of Sri Lanka Navy, the P 626 ship obtained by the United States of America was commissioned as the ”Gajabhahu” ship by Sri Lanka Navy by President Maithripala Sirisena, who is also the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces at the Colombo Port yesterday (6).
The Mahasangha, and priests of other religions, State Minister of Defense Ruwan Wijeywardhana, Secretary of Ministry of Defense General Shantha Kottegoda, and Chief of Defense staff Admiral Ravindra Wijeygunarathne, Chief of Staff of Army Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Sri Lankan Navy Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva, Chief of the Air Staff Sumangala Dias, and the United States Ambassador for Sri Lanka Alina Teplitz, and other distinguished guests were present in the event.
The Commander of the Ship, Captain Rohitha Abheysighe announced the commissioning of the ship by the President.
Then, the official logo and the badge of this under water research ship which was commissioned as “Gajabhau” was unveiled by the President in midst of Pirith chanting by Mahasangha.
The President engaged in an observational visit in the ship. This ship which belongs to the United States Coast Guard was officially handed over to Sri Lanka Navy on 27th of August at Honalulu Islands, Hawaii. This ship is 115 meters in length, and 13 meters in width. This 3302 ton ship has a speed of 28 nautical miles per hour. Twenty two officers, and a staff comprising of 111 are employed in the ship.
This ship is equipped with most modern weapons and communication equipment. This is now the largest ship of the Sri Lanka Navy. It will engage in the research in deep sea, search missions, rescue missions, conservation resources of the sea, and this ship is expected to be used to provide offshore supplies to the ships and yachts.