ECONOMYNEXT – Fixed-wing and helicopter aerobatics squadrons, multi-role combat aircraft, maritime reconnaissance aircraft backed up by military transports from India had landed in Sri Lanka to join the 70th Anniversary celebrations of the island’s air force on March 02.
“Sri Lanka is ‘Priority One’ partner for Indian in the sphere of Defence,” the Indian High Commission in Colombo said.
“The participation of IAF and Indian Navy aircraft and personnel in the 70th Anniversary celebration of SLAF is indicative of the growing cooperation, camaraderie and friendship between the Armed Forces of the two nations.”
India’s cooperation in defence and security was assured to Sri Lanka’s leadership by the National Security Adviser Ajit Doval during trilateral Maritime Security Cooperation talks among India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives in November, the embassy said.
As a gesture of solidarity, and in keeping with years of close interaction and camaraderie between the two countries and their militaries, the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy will participate in the event.
There will be an aerobatic display by the IAF’s Sarang team using Hindustan Aeronautics Limited HAL Dhruv advanced light helicopters.
IAFs fixed wing aerobatics team Surya Kiran equipped with BAe SystemS Hawk aircraft will also join. India also license produces Hawk aircraft.
The Surya Kiran team had also joined Sri Lanka Air Force’s 50th celebrations, in its first overseas foray.
Also joining would be supersonic HAL Tejas multirole light combat aircraft and its trainer version. The fighter is also used by the Indian Navy. Indian Navy will also participate in the event.
The aircraft are supported by Boeing C17 Globe Master heavy-lift military transports and C130 transports.
Dornier Maritime Patrol aircraft will fly with Sri Lanka Air Force personnel on board as part of half-yearly training missions with Sri Lankan aviation and naval units. (Colombo/Feb28/2021)