Lanka to purchase 4 helicopters for Training

10 July 2020 12:04 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • Four Bell jet ranger helicopters to train helicopter pilots
  • A contingent of helicopter pilots urgently needed for their UN sponsored peace keeping mission

By Sandun A Jayasekera

The Cabinet has given the green light to the Sri Lanka Air Force to purchase four Bell jet ranger helicopters to train helicopter pilots for peace keeping missions overseas, Cabinet spokesman and Minister Ramesh Pathirana said yesterday.   

Minister Pathirana told the weekly cabinet news briefing that Air Force personnel of Sri Lanka were serving in Sudan and Central Africa right now and a contingent of helicopter pilots were urgently needed for their UN sponsored peace keeping mission.   


“The two helicopters in use to train pilots have been purchased in 1981 and give a lot of problems. Training with them is risky and therefore, purchasing a few modern helicopters is extremely vital,” Minister Pathirana said.   


Minister Pathirana also said Sri Lanka, following the historic success of obliterating of separatist terrorism has become a training centre for foreign military officers and the Defence Services Command and Staff College (DSCSC) has offered scholarships to foreign military officers free of charge together with pay.   


From 2009 onwards, foreign military officers have been provided with opportunities to follow training courses free of charge and on payment at the DSCSE for middle grade officers of the three armed forces, the Sri Lanka Police and executive officers of state institutions. 

 
Accordingly, 12 training opportunities on payment basis and 30 opportunities free of charge have already been granted to officers from Asian, Middle Eastern, European and African countries, Minister Pathirana said.   


The proposal had been made by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to the cabinet. 

Minister Pathirana told the weekly cabinet news briefing that Air Force personnel of Sri Lanka were serving in Sudan and Central Africa right now and a contingent of helicopter pilots were urgently needed for their UN sponsored peace keeping mission.   


“The two helicopters in use to train pilots have been purchased in 1981 and give a lot of problems. Training with them is risky and therefore, purchasing a few modern helicopters is extremely vital,” Minister Pathirana said.   

 

 

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