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News


Surface-to-air missiles for SLAF

The Sri Lanka Air Force has decided to acquire surface-to-air missiles to meet the new threats posed by the LTTE air wing, The Nation learns.
The SLAF has already made inquiries from friendly countries and the President is likely to take the matter up with the Indian government during his visit to New Delhi to attend the SAARC summit.
Meanwhile, a five member court of inquiry has been appointed by Air Marshall Roshan Gunethilake to probe Monday’s attack on the Katunayake Air Base.
The committee will be headed by Air Force Chief of Staff and will comprise five senior officers representing the engineering, medical, air defence systems and security.
The Court was likely to inquire into the quality of the air defence system, the timing of the attack vis-a-vis the operational times of the radar and its response.
Whether the air defence system needs upgrading and improvement was also likely to be inquired into.
The information flow will also be scrutinised and so would the action taken by the Director Operations of the base. Several witnesses including the Base Commander Group Captain Kolitha Gunetilleke, the security officials, the officers on duty at the operations room, Katunayake are likely to be summoned to give evidence. The court will inquire into whether information was leaked out to the enemy and any other security lapses that may have taken place.
While the causes and the antecedents will be inquired into, the steps to prevent a recurrence and any other preventive action necessary will be recommended.
The proceedings will be held in camera while experts may be summoned to see what steps could be taken to prevent any other catastrophe.
Like in the case of the 2001 attack on the air base, it is likely that a few heads may roll, if the court recommends it.