SLN gets coast guard frigate from USA
[TamilNet, Friday, 14 March 2003, 16:57 GMT]
The leader of the Government of Sri LAnka (GOSL) peace team and Minister Mr. G.L.Peiris addressing a seminar for principals of national schools in Colombo Friday
said that the United States of America (USA) has gifted a coast guard frigate to the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN), sources in Colombo said.
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The SLN sources said the coast guard frigate "Courageous" is US$ 150 million and was obtained with a US government grant.
SLN sources further said the ship is 210 feet in length and has a helipad. It is offered under the Excess Defence Articles Programme of the US government and has been approved by the US Congress.
The refurbishment costs of the vessel are to be borne by the Sri Lanka government.
A team of SLN officials is to visit USA shortly to inspect the vessel, sources said.
The 'Courageous' was built at the American Shipyards in Lorain, Ohio, and launched on 18 March 1967. She was initially homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and served there through 1972, conducting search and rescue and law enforcement patrols.
In March 1987, she was decommissioned and entered Colonna's Shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia for her "Major Maintenance Availability process," or MMA. The Courageous was returned to the Coast Guard on 5 March 1990 in Portsmouth, Virginia. The cutter was then placed in commission "special status." Each cutter underwent an MMA between 1986 and 1996 at a cost of 19-21 million dollars per cutter.
Having completed the repairs to the shaft alignment , undergone extensive crew training, and been made ready for sea preparations, the Courageous was formally recommissioned on 16 March 1991. In addition to the interdiction missions, the Courageous was also the on-scene commander during the Coast Guard's search and rescue mission for a downed Cuban aircraft on September 19 and 20, 2001.
The ship can conduct patrols of up to three weeks without requiring replenishment.