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SLAF invests USD 18 Mn to acquire two new Y-12IV aircraft from China

6 December 2023 08:47 am - 20     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Colombo, Dec 6 (Daily Mirror) - The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) took delivery of two brand-new Harbin Y-12IV aircraft yesterday, marking a significant milestone in the modernization and expansion of its fleet. Manufactured by Harbin Aviation Industry Co. Ltd. in China, the acquisition of these state-of-the-art aircraft, at a cost of USD 18 million, is expected to play a pivotal role in promoting tourism within Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Air Force began exploring the possibility of acquiring new Y-12IV aircraft in 2017. After a thorough evaluation process, a contract was signed on December 16, 2019 between the Sri Lankan Government and the China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation. These aircraft will be inducted to the No. 8 "Light Transport" Squadron of the Sri Lanka Air Force.

"We have already paid 70% of the total cost, and the remaining 30% will be settled in installments over the next two years," Air Force Commander Air Marshal Udeni Rajapaksa said.

In addition to fulfilling operational, search, and rescue needs, the Air Force Commander highlighted the unique capability of these aircraft to support tourism promotion. Each aircraft has a capacity for 15 passengers. The Commander highlighted the unique ability of the Y-12IVs to land on 90% of Sri Lanka's runways, making them ideal for promoting tourism in remote and picturesque locations.

The Y-12IV aircraft is a Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) aircraft, known for its versatility and adaptability. This improved version of the Y-12 boasts extended wing tips and an increased take-off weight, leading to enhanced performance and operational flexibility.

Air Marshal Rajapaksa said that the acquisition of these aircraft underscores the SLAF's commitment to continuous improvement and modernization. The Y-12IVs will strengthen the Air Force's fleet with cutting-edge technology and significantly enhance its operational capabilities.

The arrival of the Y-12IV aircraft fills a crucial void within the SLAF fleet. In January 2020, the Air Force experienced the tragic loss of one of its existing Y-12 aircraft in a Haputale crash.

The addition of these two new aircraft ensures continued operational effectiveness and strengthens the SLAF's ability to serve the nation and contribute to regional security.

State Minister of Defence Premitha Bandara Tennakoon, Chief of Staff to the President and National Security Advisor Sagala Ratnayaka, Defence Secretary Kamal Gunaratne, Chief of Defence Staff Shavendra Silva, Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Qi Zhenhong, Navy Commander Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera and several other officials attended the induction ceremony held at the Ratmalana SLAF Base.


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  Comments - 20

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  • Kps Wednesday, 06 December 2023 09:00 AM

    I thought this was a donation.

    Sunil Wednesday, 06 December 2023 09:22 AM

    Are you sure the cost of USD $18 million each is correct? The price mentioned online is nowhere near that cost.

    Sachith Wednesday, 06 December 2023 12:10 PM

    seriously, there are many other larger aircrafts for this price tag. If its the true price, we (civilians of SL) paid. Then we know where the money went

    Waco Wednesday, 06 December 2023 10:11 AM

    People are starving. These for Ranil’s please trips. He does not have any plan for future development.

    Ling Ping Wednesday, 06 December 2023 10:17 AM

    Why was there such a big ceremony and fanfare to accept the two aircraft for which payment is made from Tax Payers' money ? The impression was that it was a DONATION from China.

    Why use in promoting tourism Wednesday, 06 December 2023 10:21 AM

    Correct me if I m wrong, SL is the only country using military aircraft to promote tourism. Defence ministry can double up as tourism ministry

    Mohamed Adham Wednesday, 06 December 2023 10:23 AM

    Oh No, it would be exclusively used for our VVIP's and their families for their vacation.

    More for Politician use Wednesday, 06 December 2023 12:03 PM

    Truly agree. Hope airport personnel take pictures of such trips

    Punchi Wednesday, 06 December 2023 10:42 AM

    So the SLAF is now going to branch out into a civilian activity tourism. Maybe this is justification for the budget allocation for the security establishment exceeding that individually allocated for health and education

    Sokrates Wednesday, 06 December 2023 11:04 AM

    One of these aircrafts cost about brand new US$ 3 million. What about the other US$ 30?

    Ranil rajapaksa criminal syndicate Wednesday, 06 December 2023 11:14 AM

    If not for the commissions, they would have been a donation.

    Natalie Wednesday, 06 December 2023 11:16 AM

    Another rajapaksa doing a deal.

    Ram Wednesday, 06 December 2023 11:57 AM

    in our weak Dollar situation we do not need this at this time. But our President and his gang must travel in safer comfort and they need it. Their need is looked at over the need of the people.

    Pin Padiya Wednesday, 06 December 2023 01:40 PM

    No point talking.Both Aircrafts already purchased USD 36M.The tourists coming here are mostly back packers living on very small motels eating paan and pol sambol and accommaditing our tourist guide for this meal.Sir how can a tourist use an aircraft. unless they are German rich tourists who may be rarely coming here.

    Lion Wednesday, 06 December 2023 04:30 PM

    The commission went to whose hand this time?

    Hamdhan Wednesday, 06 December 2023 04:30 PM

    There is an online article dated on 2020 Jan saying that the SLAF went into an agreement to buy 02 of these aircarft for USD 3million. Is this the same one? Then how come within 03 years it got more than 10 times the intial cost?

    Ravi Wednesday, 06 December 2023 05:26 PM

    Millions are deprived of basic food, medicine, education, etc. But, thanks to the rottenness of the politicians, our dear friends the Chinese and a few politicians are rollicking!

    DJ Wednesday, 06 December 2023 05:47 PM

    What happened to the donation?

    Mr X Wednesday, 06 December 2023 06:21 PM

    Plane has a very poor safety record. The plane crash in Haputale in 2020 that killed all four Air Force persons on board was a Harbin Y-12 plane. Many other reports of accidents from other operators globally. Also the cost of one plane is 2-3 million USD, so why are we paying 36 million USD for 2 planes?

    Buddhist Wednesday, 06 December 2023 07:19 PM

    Who got the commission? Why should the Air Force be involved in tourism? Tourism is a private business.


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