Monday, August 26, 2019

Sri Lanka commissions granted Jiangwei I-class frigate from China

The SLNS Parakramabahu (P625). Photo c/o SLN.

The Sri Lankan Navy (SLN) commissioned a Jiangwei I-class (Type 053H2G) frigate into service on 22 August 2019 in its main naval base in Colombo.

The ship, now known as the SLNS Parakramabahu (P625), was previously a frigate with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) known as Tongling (542) and was first commissioned in 1994. Based on the hull number, it appears that it is being classified as a patrol vessel in SLN service rather than a frigate. 

As reported previously by APDJ, the ship’s hand-over to the SLN was part of an US$18 million arms procurement deal signed between the Chinese and Sri Lankan governments in 2016.

The ship was handed over to the SLN on June 2019 after being refurbished in China and sailed for Sri Lanka on 14 June 2019. It arrived in Colombo on July 2019. It is now assigned with the Eastern Naval Command of the SLN.
The Jiangwei I-class frigate has a length of 111.7 meters, a beam of 12.4 meters, a full-load displacement of 2,300 tons, and a crew of 110 officers and sailors. Under SLN service, the crew requirements may have been reduced due to the removal of several combat systems.

Initial photos showed that the primary twin PJ33A 100mm naval gun and four Type 76A 37mm guns are present, although the 6-cell HQ-61 surface-to-air missile system, the 6-box launchers for the YJ-83 anti-ship missiles, and the Close-in Weapon System (CIWS) appears to have been removed.

[1] Jane’s Navy International
[2] Naval Technology
[3] Asia Pacific Defense Journal

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