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* Sri Lanka, Australian naval vessels in Passage Exercise
Thu, Feb 27, 2014, 12:56 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 26, Colombo: Sri Lanka, Australian naval ships participated in a passage exercise in the Sri Lankan waters off the southern coast Tuesday.

The Australian Naval Ship HMAS Melbourne which arrived in Sri Lanka last Friday (February 21) on a goodwill visit took part in a Passage Exercise code named "PASSEX" with Sri Lanka Navy ship, SLNS Sagara in the seas off Galle on Tuesday (February 25).

The exercise was designed to promote bilateral cooperation and stability, greater interoperability between the two Navies, mainly focusing on the issues related to piracy and illegal human trafficking, the Sri Lankan Navy said in a statement

The exercise provided opportunity for both Navies to rehearse the concept of joint naval operations and to enhance own skills.

The 138- meter long HMAS Melbourne is an Adelaide Class guided missile frigate (FFG) with a displacement of 4,040 tons. The ship carries a complement of 26 officers and 195 sailors.

The Australian naval ship is heading home after a successful visit to the country. The visit has paved way for the strengthening of bilateral relationships of the two countries and mutual co-operation between the two Navies.

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