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India provides surveillance aircraft to SL!

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India has taken steps to provide a maritime surveillance aircraft Dornier 228 Maritime Patrol Aircraft to Sri Lanka.

Media reports suggested that during the Defence Dialog between India and Sri Lanka on January 09, 2018 in New Delhi, the Sri Lankan government had sought the possibility of obtaining 02 Dornier Reconnaissance Aircraft from India to enhance the maritime surveillance capabilities of Sri Lanka.

As a sequel to the request from Sri Lanka, India agreed to provide 01 Dornier 228 Maritime Patrol Aircraft from the Indian Naval Fleet on gratis basis for the first two years of the interim period since it would be required two years to manufacture new aircraft.
The aircraft is scheduled to be officially handed over to Sri Lanka at a ceremony on the 15th of this month under the patronage of President Ranil Wickremesinghe and High Commissioner of India Gopal Baglay.

However, there is speculation in the political field that the reason for India's prompt delivery of this aircraft to Sri Lanka is the controversial Chinese research ship Yuan Wang 5 arriving at Sri Lanka's Hambantota port.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Mirror learns that the relevant ship is scheduled to arrive at the Hambantota Port after the 15th.

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