Naval Operations as at today embraces a wide area of maritime activities. The main areas of Sri Lanka Navy is naval operations are as follows;
Deep Sea Surveillance
Offshore Patrol Vessels are deployed in the high seas to carry out surveillance on illegal transfer of war like materials using merchant vessels & activities of EEZ.
Fast Attack Craft are small surface combatants of about 25 mtrs length and around 50 tons displacement armed with rapid fire weapons. New generation is capable of producing speeds over 45 knots. These units so far proved to be the most effective weapon against the terrorist sea tiger activities.
Convoy / Log Moves
With the bulk of security force personnel being stationed at Northern area and the lack of land routes, it has become necessary to provide logistic support to them by sea. Also the essential food items, fuel and medicine for the civilian population in the North also have to be moved by sea for the same reason. With many attempts by terrorist to attack these movements it has become necessary for the logistics ships to move in convoys under SLN protection.
Security of Harbours
Owing to the terrorist activities where they have carried out attacks using suicide cadres against Naval units berthed at Trincomalee, Kankesanturai and Karainagar and many attempts against merchant ships off Kankesanturai and in Colombo Harbour, it has become essential to protect these harbours round the clock.
Sri Lanka Navy is the Designated Authority for implementing International Ships and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code in Sri Lanka.
Inshore Patrol Craft are small 14 mtrs vessels which are capable of operating inshore as well as for beaching. They are capable of speeds in excess of 30 knots.
Special Boat Squadron consists of elite Naval troops trained for clandestine and special operations.
Since early 90's SLN has been involved in land operations assisting the Army on amphibious operations liberating land areas from terrorist control.
SLN also assist the Army in ground combat duties. For this purpose North Central Command was established and Naval Patrolman battalions were raised to take up this task.