The government is seeking to enhance air surveillance capacity amidst increased efforts made by the LTTE to smuggle in new stocks of arms, ammunition and equipment.
However, there seems to be a simmering dispute over the move that got underway recently with the government calling for tenders for the acquisition of two radars and two day and night TV cameras to upgrade the Beech craft now in service with the SLAF.
However, some are favouring the acquisition of two refurbished aircraft with the required capability. Others oppose the acquisition of used aircraft.
Referring to the acquisition of two C-130 medium lift transport aircraft in 2000, they pointed out that the SLAF did not benefit from that particular purchase. The army and the navy, too, had suffered considerable losses by acquiring used equipment, particularly armoured fighting vehicles, ships and directional fighting equipment, these sources said.
Subsequently, there were covert efforts to manipulate the procedure, thereby ignoring the best possible acquisition.