May 7, 2016 - Winning one of the biggest defence contracts in the naval history, Sri Lanka Navy sold 9 small patrol craft, indigenously built by the Inshore Patrol Craft Project of the Navy established at Welisara, to the Nigerian Government today (06) at its' premises. The deal is a milestone in the annals of the Sri Lanka Navy as this is the very first transaction, where the Navy involved internationally to earn foreign exchange to the country. The Nigerian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka His Excellency Mr. S.U. Ahmed along with the dignitaries of the High Commission, the Director General Operation of the Sri Lanka Navy, Rear Admiral Dharmendra Wettewa and the Director General Engineering, Rear Admiral Nilantha Premasiri attended this historic occasion which saw the official handover of 06 Arrow Boats and 03 Inshore Patrol Craft worth of approx. USD 4.2 million, said by the Navy media.
The Sri Lanka Navy is the pioneer in the sphere of Arrow-class patrol boats and Wave Rider Craft where the concept which was developed through SLN's Assymetric Naval Warfare experience. Moreover the foreign navies and the sister services avidly seek the assistance of the Sri Lanka Navy in asymmetric warfare exercises/ training due to her world-wide fame achieved through the victories in sea battles through these Arrow-class patrol boats and Wave Riders. As a result, today the Navy is privileged to deal in this USD 4.2 million contract with the Nigerian Navy. The first prototypes of these arrow boats were developed in 1994 by the Navy Special Boat Squadron and have indigenously produced approximately 120 craft thus far.
Navy media also stated that, the Navy will continue to engage in this assignment ahead as it would boost the economic stabilization of the country through export earnings. The earnings of this USD 4.2 million will be utilized for the upgrading of the Inshore Patrol Craft Project of the Navy at Welisara and it is expected to lift the standards of the work station through advanced research and technical know-how in view of delivering quality output according to the international standards.