Arrow-class patrol boat

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Class overview
Name: Arrow
Builders: Sri Lanka Navy
Operators:  Sri Lanka Navy
Cost: Rs. 1.7 million (US$ 17,000)
In commission: 2006
Completed: 100+
Active: 100+
General characteristics
Length: 18 ft (5.5 m)
Propulsion: single 200 bhp (150 kW) outboard motor
Crew: 3-5
Armament: 23mm autocannon , PKM 7.62mm machine guns

The Arrow class is a series of fast patrol/assault speed boat constructed by the Sri Lanka Navy for use by its littoral warfare units, the elite Special Boat Squadron (SBS) and the Rapid Action Boat Squadron (RABS).[1] The boat is capable of achieving high speeds and is highly maneuverable, meeting the requirements of these units in small boat operations. Armed with an autocannon or automatic grenade launcher as its primary weapon system and with multiple machine guns, the Arrow boats provides relatively high firepower despite its small size. It is also used by the navy for inshore monitoring operations.


Designed according to the requirements of its elite, unit the SBS, for a fast and maneuverable boat with high firepower, the navy developed the first prototype of the Arrow in 2006. The prototype was completed within a month. The tests carried out with this prototype were successful. Production was begun immediately after this, and the boats were deployed soon after. The navy produces the Arrow at a unit cost of Rs. 1.7 million (US$ 17,000).[2]


The Arrow boat is powered by a single 200 bhp (150 kW) outboard motor. Another variant of the boat, fitted with two outboard motors has also been developed. The hull is made of strengthened fiberglass. The boat is 18 feet (5.49 m) long.[2] No armour is provided, with the intention of keeping the boat light enough to meet the primary requirements of speed and maneuverability.


A 23 mm caliber autocannon is installed as the primary weapon of the Arrow boat, mounted in the bow. In some variants, this is replaced by an automatic grenade launcher, secondary armament consists of several PKM 7.62mm machine guns mounted on each side of the boat.[3]

Operational history[edit]

The Arrow boat has been in service with the Sri Lanka Navy’s Special Boat Squadron since its development. From mid 2008, it has also been issued to the newly created Rapid Action Boat Squadron. The Arrow boat was widely used by the Sri Lanka Navy against the LTTE’s Sea Tigers during the last phase of the Sri Lankan Civil War, known as the Eelam War IV.[2]

The 100th Arrow[edit]

The 100th Arrow boat was launched by the Sri Lanka Navy on 11 September 2008.[4] A ceremony was held at the navy base SLNS Gemunu at Welisara to mark this event, presided over by the Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.


  1. ^ "Launching of 100th indigenous special designed fighting boat by the Sri Lanka Navy". Ravin Edirisinghe. Asian Tribune. 12 September 2008. Archived from the original on 14 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  2. ^ a b c "Navy achieves superior firepower and manoeuvrability with in-house technology". Ranil Wijayapala. Daily News. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "SLN launches 100th Arrow Boat". Dhaneshi Yatawara. Sunday Observer. 14 September 2008. Archived from the original on 18 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 

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