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Context: India handed over a Dornier aircraft to Sri Lanka in the presence of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, reaffirming its security ties with the island nation.
- Security of India and Sri Lanka are enhanced by mutual understanding, mutual trust and cooperation.
- Gifting of Dornier 228 is India’s latest contribution to this cause
- The gifting of the Dornier aircraft to the Sri Lanka Air Force “is of relevance to and a step to meet its requirements for maritime safety and security
- It is an example of India’s strength, adding to the strength of its friends and neighbours, including those in Indian Ocean Region and the Bay of Bengal, such as Sri Lanka.
- The capability of the aircraft to undertake search and rescue operations “exemplifies its direct benefit to the people
- The Indian gift was in response to a request from the Sri Lankan government in 2018 for two Dornier Reconnaissance Aircraft to enhance the maritime surveillance capabilities of the island nation.
- Sri Lanka is a member of the ‘Colombo Security Conclave’, that began as a trilateral initiate involving India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, and later included Mauritius, for maritime cooperation in the region.
- The Dornier 228 is a twin- turbodrop utility aircraft of the STOL (Short-Take off and Landing) variety.
- It was designed by DASA Dornier, Fairchild – DOrnier.
- In 1983, a production licence was bought by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) who set up a manufacturing unit of these aircrafts in Kanpur. About 124 aircrafts were built here.
- The Dornier 228 is a general aircraft with twin engines capable of carrying at least 19 passengers.