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Sri Lanka Air Force reveals ambitious aircraft acquisition plans

14 February 2024 10:11 pm - 29     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Colombo, Feb. 14 (Daily Mirror)- Air Force Commander Udeni Rajapaksa said today that the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) has embarked on several programmes aimed at modernizing its fleet and enhancing operational capabilities to meet future challenges effectively.

During a media briefing, the Commander outlined the Sri Lanka Air Force's comprehensive strategy to bolster its technological prowess and aircraft inventory.

He said that the SLAF has submitted requests to the US Air Force for the acquisition of two C130 aircraft, with negotiations underway to secure newer models than those currently in possession. " The SLAF has already procured two new Y12 aircraft of Chinese origin as part of its fleet expansion efforts," the Commander said.

The Commander said the SLAF is set to acquire two Beach King Air aircraft, one from the United States and another from Australia, comprising the 360ER and KA 350 models, respectively. "These aircraft will be dedicated to bolstering maritime domain awareness, a critical aspect of safeguarding Sri Lanka's interests in the Indian Ocean region," he said.

"With peace being paramount for sustainable development, it is incumbent upon the SLAF, as guardians of the sky, to protect the airspace over the Indian Ocean," Air Marshal Rajapaksa said.

He stressed the importance of understanding and dominating the maritime domain to ensure national security and stability.

Addressing the SLAF's strategic priorities, Commander reiterated the focus on maintaining a strong defense while actively engaging in United Nations peacekeeping missions.

He highlighted the dual benefits of participating in UN missions, citing both income generation for the country and enhanced reputation for the SLAF on the global stage.

As part of its modernization efforts, the Commander said that SLAF is in discussions with various countries for the potential induction of helicopters and training aircraft to facilitate pilot training and operational readiness.

In addition, he said plans are underway to overhaul existing aircraft, such as the MI-17 helicopters, to support increased participation in UN missions and further enhance Sri Lanka's standing in international peacekeeping efforts.


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  Comments - 29

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  • Gabriella Wednesday, 14 February 2024 10:19 PM

    Yes, we would be in big trouble if the Maldive Islands decide to invade.

    Mahila Thursday, 15 February 2024 03:37 AM

    Agree with your sentiments, WE (SL) don't have Rs 10 billion to hold LG elections, since 03/2023, and they are aspirants to purchase NEW aircraft!!?? Defend against India and China!!?? Or Ghosts!!? OR, IS IT TANTAMOUNT TO, OPPORTUNISM, PICKPOCKETING AND LOOTING BEFORE END OF TENURE OF THEIR COMMAND!!!??? The New management theory, since 2005!!!

    A Wednesday, 14 February 2024 11:16 PM

    Increase VAT further.

    JK Fernando Wednesday, 14 February 2024 11:58 PM

    What a waste of time and money. Forget the people. Let's buy some new planes to play with and boost our egos

    Fonseka Thursday, 15 February 2024 12:25 AM

    Commission is good?

    Ex Pilot Thursday, 15 February 2024 12:45 AM

    What’s wrong with this airforce chief ? This is not the period to be delusional and think of purchasing machines. Be satisfied with what you have.

    Pantha Kumaran Thursday, 15 February 2024 12:51 AM

    My friend who is going to finance? Another Rajapakses? Gota behind purchasing?

    sasi Saturday, 17 February 2024 12:44 AM

    We aren't buying them we are requesting them as aid

    Tissa Fernando Thursday, 15 February 2024 01:03 AM

    Why not go to India and buy one of their used helicopters with Leyland engine. It won't be cheap but you can payback later and you can get commissions as well you will have immediate approval from NPP , Harin, Ranil too.

    Radar Thursday, 15 February 2024 01:35 AM

    What a pathetic excuse given to go on a spending spree where someone wants to get a sidekick? Surely, this should be the least of the priorities for SL- given the competing economic requirement of the poor people of this country. Today, drones have come a long way in effective surveillance at fraction of the cost of aircrafts and their maintenance. If we so badly require why not go to drones?

    Ama Thursday, 15 February 2024 02:54 AM

    Please go ahead with the purchase. We all need your help to thwart DRUG TRAFFIKING AND ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES via sea.

    TAX PAYER Thursday, 15 February 2024 02:54 AM

    AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE NO EANEMY, BUT WE HAVE FIVE AIR FORCE RUNWAYS IN THE N,P. WE HAVE PLANNED 2 MORE IN THE NORTHERN PROVINCE. LONG LIVE. LANKA PURA.

    Harin Fernando Thursday, 15 February 2024 03:16 AM

    Sri Lanka is a part of India, so it is India's responsibility is we get attacked by messapoutamia.

    Robert Thursday, 15 February 2024 03:19 AM

    The decision was made in Washington to modernize and expand the SL military. It is part of USA's Integrated Country Strategy with SL agreed in 2022. The document is available for download.

    Robin Banks Thursday, 15 February 2024 03:19 AM

    Since we are the Southern Pradesh of India according to Harin, why should we spend on aircraft? Unless a politician is licking his lips at the massive commission.

    Neville Thursday, 15 February 2024 04:54 AM

    Which country is discarding outdated planes? and how much commission are you getting? Now which country are we at war with, or are we expecting/planning for any insurgences? Privatise all our medical facilities and buy more planes, good move forward thinking!

    Priyan66 Thursday, 15 February 2024 05:01 AM

    Pls do no waste our tax money. we pay large part of our salary as PAYE tax already. Not enough cash to balance the month

    Rip Winkle Thursday, 15 February 2024 05:57 AM

    There is absolutely no valid necessity for such a move especially at a time when millions are living in poverty. The only people who will benefit from this are those who seek to fill their pockets from commissions.

    M Perera Thursday, 15 February 2024 06:19 AM

    At a time like this why doesn't the AF and the government look at partnership with Russia or China to design and assembled fighter jets. This will creat more jobs and also save on Forex. The air force needs to have a cable air capability. Between 30-50 fighter jets would be ideal. Its time SL have its own RnD and start doing its own air crafts.

    PLEASE NO MORE POSSIBLE DEATH TRAPS, COMMISSIONS AND OR PUTTING US IN A SITUATION WHERE ANOTHER 99 YEARS GOES A BEGGING Thursday, 15 February 2024 02:04 PM

    ANOTHER ONE WHO NEEDS HIS OR HER HEAD EXAMINED. NO MORE CHINA AND OR RUSSIA CONTRACTS AND OR DEALS ONLY THE CORRUPT WILL BENEFIT AND THEIR AGENDAS WILL ONLY LEAD US DOWN A DEATH TRAP, WHERE THEY WILL TRAIN OUR GUYS, BUT THEY WILL MAKE SURE THEIR GUYS ARE IN CONTROL

    Tharuni pieris Thursday, 15 February 2024 07:04 AM

    I bet they will all have ambitious plans to get high commissions and omissions in buying some crap metal. What a bunch of jokers we have.

    Robert Thursday, 15 February 2024 07:33 AM

    Work with the private sector to develop an indigenous Drone industry. Planes and Helicopters will be misused by politicians, and may not even be used for the nation's defense.

    VJ Thursday, 15 February 2024 08:20 AM

    They should follow the path taken by the army.

    Sokrates Thursday, 15 February 2024 08:48 AM

    UN missions are not there to generate revenue for Sri Lanka. This is extremely questionable and not in the spirit of the UN. Other nations pass on the full amount of UN salaries to their soldiers. Sri Lanka feeds its UN soldiers a lousy salary and collects the rest, which is unacceptable. Furthermore, under pressure from other countries involved in UN missions, the UN only accepts logistics and medical units from Sri Lanka, as Sri Lankan soldiers are classified as cowards.

    Mohamed Adham Thursday, 15 February 2024 09:45 AM

    Most of them will end up being fully refurbished and used for VIP purposes. What is there to defend from whom ? Already half of the country is under FOREIGN hands.

    Wiseman Thursday, 15 February 2024 10:08 AM

    Few Helicopters Ambulance service and for search and rescue missions would be a better investment. Enough of VIP transport service by SLAF

    Taipan Thursday, 15 February 2024 11:50 AM

    Sri Lanka must have got to know about Australia's ill fated fleet of Taipan Helicopters which is now abandoned dismantled and buried while Ukraine seem to be very interested in acquiring the fleet to fight the war against Russia.

    Pullma Dimgalinga Thursday, 15 February 2024 02:41 PM

    We need a new fleet of Fokker's !

    RP Thursday, 15 February 2024 09:51 PM

    Sickening! Totally disconnected from the reality. He need to be educated of our country's dire financial condition. Didn't the Sri Lankan Airlines Executives pulled the same acquisition plan and when questioned, played "DUMB" and pretended they weren't aware of the country's dire financial situation?


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