• 7 Dec 2006 15:58:54 GMT

    Even I agree with OPV theory. Cos its costly to maintain Couple of Big Ships like Frigates at this time. for the meantime We can Use cpl Of Maritime Surveillance Crafts (eg: Beech craft King) to Monitor Deep Seas as well..

    Regarding FBC-1 (JH-7) I think this Aircraft is mainly used for maritime strike missions...

  • 7 Dec 2006 16:04:54 GMT

    I have a question to MiG 29C too.. Do you Know the Variant of MIG 27 we are getting now? is it MIG 27K variant??

  • 7 Dec 2006 16:05:20 GMT

    Arian, old boy... not happy with me being here? You should really not get upset with us old timers.

    The Mosquito was an amazing plane. Very cheap to make and easy to fly. Imagine 200 of these beauties based within 10 miles of the trenches?

    In my time we really knocked Jerry off with these beauties. As your terrorist chaps are also sitting in front lines (funny terrorist these!), imagine what you can do in all those areas they hold. You will be knocking their lines all the time. Shoot up a parade by arriving unannounced. Knock off a truck moving supplies... Bulldozer? No problem. Tally-Ho!

    Oh, the Mosquito is great esp at about 50 feet. Bertie used to fly the machine even lover! You get to shoot as you fly, and Bertie was in his element with that job! With dozens of these fly boys roaming all over your terrorists` territory (Blimey! Is that why they are called terrorists? They hold territory!) they will have hard time moving around.

    It seems old boy, you are blowing an aweful amount of money to only drop half a dozen 500 pounders a time. When their intelligence calls from near the aerodrome and says the the MiGs have taken off, all juicy targets have plenty of time to vanish from the scene. Sort of like the time Jerry sent his planes over England. Of course in Blighty, the Spitfires and Hurricanes scrambled. (Those were the times!)

    You sound so serious old boy. I mean trying to win the war and all that with the latest weapons.

    Me? I am simply trying to tell you an old flyer`s tales, hoping your top brass thinks more about hitting `em every day in every sector so holding territory is painful... very, very painful.

    Tactics old boy, tacticss! That`s what wins battles. Now that Rommel, he had Monty all tied up... that old Fox understood tactics. Now he would have taken 500 tanks all over the territory the terrorists hold.

    Me old boy... I like using my Mosquito! 200 of them buzzing allover them. Quite a sight that!

  • 7 Dec 2006 16:12:55 GMT

    Since I saw someone mention the name Jayasagara...

    Jayasagara and its sister ship Sagarawardena were purchased during J.R Jayawardena`s regime. He personally wanted his name to be `imprinted` in those two ships. Hence Jaya - Sagara and Sagara-Wardena.

    The then flagship Jayasagara used to have a twin barrelled matra apilas 85mm on a pod mount. That was said to be one hell of a gun. Nowdays SLN cannot boast such weaponry.

    Sagarawardena was decommissioned in the early 90s after it was dissabled in enemy fire after it was struck with sea mines. Jayasagara too was decommissioned afterwards. It was never sunk though as some websites say - it was badly damaged.

    At present SLN has a similar gunboat named Jayasagara II. Sailors consider that name to be lucky.

  • 7 Dec 2006 17:27:46 GMT

    Biggles old chap,

    Seems like you ruffled some feathers with your comments on the `good old days`. However I think you are trying to make some valid points.

    [Tactics old boy, tacticss!]

    That`s a good one right there.Especially against a determined enemy like the LTTE.

    [Me? I am simply trying to tell you an old flyer`s tales, hoping your top brass thinks more about hitting `em every day in every sector so holding territory is painful... very, very painful.]

    Also about the LTTE being pre-warned about imminent air attacks by ground observers.

    Well I guess that`s it for now, must dash have to work and all that sort of thing don`t you know? Damn inconvenience, this working for a living thing eh, what?

    Please convey my regards to young Mr. Hebblethwaite too why don`t you. Oh yes, the Mosquito seems to be an excellant aircraft especially considering the wooden structure.

    Your friend Bertie seems to be dashingly cavalier sort of fellow. Just the stuff we need.(Something about Speed Aggression Surprise, that your SAS talks about comes to mind)

    Cheerio old Bean, and do keep posting. I have a feeling you have a lot of education to impart.

  • 8 Dec 2006 00:35:52 GMT

    Biggles, Old Boy,

    Nice to hear your light-hearted chatter ..

    The British with their `stiff upper lip` reserve, were yet masters of psychology, when it came to meeting the stress of battle. Those who were on the front-line .. like air-crew .. were known for their light-hearted, flippant banter, which masked a steel-like determination, to press home the attack .. and win. Their courage was deliberately `masked` .. and I believe it helped them the the better, to face those challenging times ..

    We too need to cultivate a `light-hearted` attitude .. yet remain courageous & firm in determination .. the better to face these challenging times, in Sri Lanka.

  • 8 Dec 2006 01:00:00 GMT

    Biggles

    We quit the prop jobs when the threat level outclassed such aircraft. Check on why the SLAF gave up its Sia Marchetties and Pucara`s.

    Different world, different war, different time altogether.

    It`s a different game ol` boy, played with different toys.

  • 8 Dec 2006 05:07:08 GMT

    GreyFox,

    As far as I am aware, we do not possess a particularly large heavy military engineering sector, and what that means is that even when building a `local` vessel, most of the significant subsystems used on vessel will have to be imported from overseas anyway. Engines, weapons, fire-control, radar, navigation systems, shipboard automation systems etc will have be brought over anyway, i.e. the most expensive components. The main savings would probably be in labour costs and hull construction costs. The logistics issues would probably remain, because we`d still have to import spares for foreign subsystems.

    Across 15-20 vessels, those costs are going to add up. The only way to mitigate those costs would be install low-grade equipment. The problem with that is that while the resulting craft would be good on offshore patrols and for fisheries protection, that`s also the ONLY thing they`d be good for. They`d be useless against the sea tigers (too slow), and useless against any other force (too lightly armed). It would probably be something like a repeat of the Jayasagaras. Why that becomes important is that even if you assume a unit cost of $10 million (OPV), that is equal to buying 10 FACs given your unit cost of $1 million. Swamping the sea tigers with so many FACs that they unable to make seaborne movements has its own charm.

    The Navy would be better served in investing in it`s intelligence capabilities and finding out exactly where the ltte merchantmen are (and then launching search-and-destroy missions with the OPVs) rather than trying to inspect every ship on the high seas, because that`s not really practical. Even the Germans never maintained a readiness rate of more than 33% for their u-boats, 1/3 raiding, 1/3 training, 1/3 in repairs and refit. Applying that here, we`d probably have 5 or so OPVs at sea at any one time, and that`s still probably not enough if the Navy wants to inspect everything afloat. Such a large number of OPVs would not be cheap to operate either, especially not with frequent patrols.

  • 8 Dec 2006 06:15:32 GMT

    Su33,

    Your right about the security issue, but I figured that since Colombo Port is already well secure it`s probably no big deal. They could definitely berth it in Trinco, the British berthed HMS Hermes there, and she was of a similar size, but yes, if they Navy isn`t going ahead with it, thats that. With the Jayasagara-class, have they scrapped the hulks or are they still holding them? BTW I saw somewhere that the CDL order book is full till 2008/9, so we probably won`t see a new vessel before 2010 unless someone has the bright idea of commandeering the 35/40m vessels we`re building for the Maldivians.

    GreyFox,

    Hmmm yes those Al-Khalids are quite expensive, still since the tigers mostly use LAW, they should be able to shrug off more hits than the T-55AM2s. I don`t see why the army doesn`t just buy Kontakt ERA for them though, it would be useful against those RPGs. If the Al-Khalids fail, the Army should just approach the Russians and ask for T-55 blueprints/machine tools, such a simple but relevant tank like that is an excellent place to start local tank production. Deliveries of 5-10 units per year would be more than enough to cover attrition, would allow local rebuilds as necessary.

  • 9 Dec 2006 03:09:58 GMT

    Hello everyone,

    It seems that both the FMVs are returning to service next year after an expensive `upgrade.`

    The LTTE is not capable of a prolonged war without replenishing its stocks through sea routes from time to time, and if we can effectively cut off these supply routes, our final ground campaign will be that much effective. Easier said than done, but without cutting of their supply routes by sea, especially now since India seems to be supporting them once again, it is going to be a hard grind. Each day VP prolongs the war, the closer he gets to Eelam.

    The battle at sea is two pronged, at least it should be: OPVs and other patrol vessels making up the outer ring of defense and the FACs making up the inner ring. True, the funds available to us are very limited, but both types of vessels are crucial to winning the war at sea. Without the OPVs, the supply routes can`t be kept in check, and without the FACs the defense of the shoreline will be severely undermined.

    I think we are doing a good job at choking off the supply routes considering the limited number of OPVs at our disposal, but I assume that the majority of the shipments bound for killinochchi are getting through. What we need are superior numbers, and not high end vessels that are armed to the teeth. We need good radar, decent guns; preferably 76 mm Oto Melaras, ability to make a decent speed, and to stay afloat for a couple of weeks at a time. If we can have a vessel every 15-20 miles apart, we have a very good chance of cutting off supplies effectively.

    I think we are loosing the battle closer to shore. The casualty figures are too high, and we do not have a viable answer to the human missiles. To put things in to perspective, we lost about 10% of our FAC fleet in 2006. Home built fiberglass canoes they may be, but they are proving to be formidable opponents. Either it is strategy, or a new type of vessel or aircraft, we need to come up with a solution fast.