Britain is in talks with the Sri Lankan authorities to use a floating armory, the Guardian newspaper reported.
Avant Garde Maritime Services (AGMS), a Sri Lankan company that works in partnership with the country’s government, is one of the major operators of floating armouries. The company’s chairman, Nissanka Senadhipathi, said there were “thousands of weapons” on his company’s ships. AGMS charges US$25 a day to store the weapons and ammunition, with 800 to 1,000 movements on and off the armouries each month.
Sri Lanka has established itself as a leader on the armouries, which are partly run by the country’s navy and have been approved by Security Association for the Maritime Industry.
The British Foreign and Commonwealth office told The Guardian that they were “continuing discussions with interested parties, including the Sri Lankan authorities. We are determined to find a solution that allows British companies to compete for contracts in a fair and transparent manner that respects legitimate security considerations”.
About 20 ships stocked with assault rifles and other small arms as well as ammunition, body armour and night vision goggles are scattered around the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, the EU naval force has confirmed.