The Seychelles Coast Guard has taken delivery of two Wave Rider inshore patrol boats from Sri Lanka, and will use them for maritime surveillance.
The vessels (217 and 218) were received during a two-day visit from Seychelles Vice President Vincent Meriton at the beginning of February. They were handed over at SLNS Rangalla in Colombo harbour. The boats were donated after a request during a state visit to the Seychelles by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena in October 2018.
“Donation of these new Wave Rider boats to the Seychelles Coast Guard demonstrates yet again the willingness of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka to hold fast with Seychelles in our efforts to safeguard our territorial waters,” Meriton said.
Seychelles Coast Guard personnel underwent a three-week training course in Sri Lanka where they learnt how to operate the vessels, which will be used to patrol some of the nation’s 1.4 million square kilometre exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
The Wave Rider vessels are manufactured by the Inshore Patrol Craft Construction Project of the Naval Boat Building Yard at Welisara in Sri Lanka, which has delivered over 100 Wave Riders. They are 15 metres long and can carry ten personnel. They are powered by two Yanmar diesels producing 430 hp. They drive twin Hamilton HJ274 waterjets, giving a top speed of 42 knots. The Seychelles vessels appear to be armed with a machinegun fore and aft of the cabin.
Sri Lanka has previously supplied boats to Nigeria, in May 2016 handing over six Arrow class boats and three inshore patrol craft (believed to be Wave Riders) to the Nigerian Navy under a $4.2 million contract. The Sri Lankan Navy said this was its first international defence sale.
The Sri Lankan Navy has previously used the Arrow and Wave Rider class boats, notably during the conflict against Tamil Tiger rebels. The boats were developed from 1994 by the Navy Special Boat Squadron, and around 120 have been delivered so far.