Indian Navy Donier MPA and members of the INA Squadron 313 with their SLN and SLAF counterparts at the end of the training exercise
A three-day training exercise involving maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) between India Navy, Sri Lanka Navy and Sri Lanka Air Force came to an end at Weerawila Air Force Base last week.
The exercise conducted by the Indian Naval Air Squadron 313 saw a Donier MPA used to train officers of the Sri Lanka Air Force and Navy in the role of Air Observer. The exercise was held from 17 to 20 February allowing Sri Lankan officers to hone air observer capacities. Six officers from the Sri Lanka Navy and five from the Sri Lanka Air Force took part in the training exercise. Air Observers are a core part of maritime air surveillance missions.
The exercise comes in the backdrop where the Sri Lankan armed forces are trying to expand their maritime domain awareness (MDA) capabilities. The need for Sri Lanka to acquire MPA’s to bolster the surveillance and search and rescue capability has been a long-felt need.
The Indian Naval Air Squadron 313 based out of Chennai Airport is a new addition to the growing Indian naval air arm, with the Squadron stood up in June last year by the Indian Navy Chief of Staff.