Croatian muscle for Lankan Navy

Sri Lanka and Croatia are exploring the possibility of setting up a joint venture to build ships for the SLN.

Authoritative sources said Navy Commander Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda during a recent visit to Croatia had discussed the proposed venture which would also involve the Colombo Dockyard Limited (CDL).

Karannagoda’s visit had been preceded by Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake’s tour of Croatia, the sources said, expressing confidence the project would be a reality and facilitate Sri Lanka’s efforts to enhance the operational capacity and capability of the SLN.

The SLN destroyed eight LTTE floating arsenals in separate operations conducted on the high seas beginning September 2006 to early October 2007. The sources said although the SLN had maximised the use of available assets to weaken the enemy’s ability to bring in fresh consignments of arms and ammunition, the need to acquire additional platforms couldn’t be further delayed, the sources said.

The sources said the SLN needed a range of vessels to strengthen the existing fleet to thwart Sea Tiger operations on the high seas and in the Palk Straits. A bilateral agreement between the two countries to build fighting vessels would be advantageous to Sri Lanka, a senior official said.

The Croatian government had said it was ready to get involved in the project which would be the first of its kind between Sri Lanka and a foreign government, the sources said.

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