Navy achieves superior firepower and manoeuvrability with in-house
NAVY: The LTTE has always failed in their sea battles with the Navy.
Miscalculating of the capabilities of the Sri Lanka Navy has always been
a major contributing factor for their failures.
The recent events that unfolded in the territorial waters of Sri
Lanka bear testimony that Sea Tigers cannot face any sea battles with
the Navy if not for their suicide boat squadron.
The attack on unarmed sailors at Digamapotana in Habarana was another
indication that they desperately needed to inflict heavy damage to the
Navy as they failed to confront with the Navy in sea battles.
Having failed to confront the Navy the LTTE used the tactic of taking
cover of the fishing boats for their operations against the Navy.
The Sea Tigers on November 30 made yet another attempt to launch a
sandwich type attack on the Navy Surveillance Unit located at
Baththalangunduwa to monitor sea movements from Gulf of Mannar region
On November 30 around 3 p.m. more than 20 LTTE boats attempted to
reach the Navy Surveillance Unit at Baththalangunduwa mingling with the
fishing boats in Crocodile Bay in Kalpitiya area.
As Inshore Patrol Craft (IPC) P132, P131 and P171 at
Baththalangunduwa engaged the flotilla of Tiger boats reaching towards
them from Kalpitiya side another flotilla of LTTE boats from
Kuthiramalai point directed fire at the IPCs at Baththalangunduwa
sandwiching the IPCs from two sides.
As fighting went on, five IPCs including P133, P127 and P134 from the
Kalpitiya Naval Base reached Baththalangunduwa area for the assistance
of the Naval boats fighting the flotilla of Tiger boats from two
The Sea Tiger engaged in this attack were confident that they can
bear the brunt of the Navy retaliatory fire as they were aware of the
range of the guns fitted in those IPCs.
But, the day turned out to be a bad one for the Tiger boats as they
had to face unexpected fire power from the Navy boats as they reached
closer to the IPCs in Baththalangunduwa.
The Tiger boats also came under the same type of attack from the Navy
boats reaching towards Baththalangunduwa from Kalpitiya Naval base.
The Naval troops through the intercepted radio transmissions heard
the voices of the LTTE cadres crying for assistance as they could not
bear the brunt of the Navy attack and also the air attacks directed
towards their boats. They finally withdrew towards Kuthiramalai point.
The Navy with the assistance extended by the Air Force could
successfully repulse the LTTE Sea Tiger attack on November 30 as they
could engage the Sea Tiger boats with higher calibre long range weapons
fitted to the IPCs which was not expected by the LTTE.
The LTTE experienced heavy losses with three of their boats becoming
disabled compelling the LTTE to forcibly take few of the fishing boats
from the innocent fishermen.
If not for this Navy manufactured Inshore Patrol Crafts fitted with
heavy calibre guns the LTTE could have destroyed many of the Navy boats
before air support was called for their assistance.
Apart from the IPCs fitted with heavy calibre guns the Navy also used
arrow boats manufactured by the Navy for the use of the Special Boat
It was a clear indication that the Navy is now heading for new
dimensions when increasing its capabilities without depending on
supplies from foreign nations and also from the local market.
SLN made Inshore Patrol Craft fitted with heavy calibre weapon
The Research and Development project at the Sri Lanka Navy during the
past one year developed the technology to produce IPCs at local
workshops saving millions of rupees in foreign exchange that has to be
spent for the purchase of IPCs from the international and local market.
The Navy has proved that they can produce the IPCs with the same
international standards at Rs.11 million instead of spending Rs. 28
million to purchase IPC from the international market.
The Navy has changed the capacity of these IPCs enabling the
installation of heavy calibre guns using expertise at the Navy.
The Navy during the past one year has broadened their mission to
produce equipment using locally available resources saving millions of
foreign exchange to the country.
The manufacture of Arrow Boats for the usage of the Special Boat
Units was also another successful invention by the Research and
Development Unit of the Navy.
The aim of manufacturing those arrow boats was to facilitate the
close inshore manuring operations by the Special Boat Units of the Navy
and to counter cluster attacks by the LTTE using flotilla of boats.
Arrow boats fitted with Outboard Motors
The Navy has shown the capability of manufacturing a 18 feet long
arrow boat fitted with 200 Horsepower outboard motors at Rs.1.7 million
against Rs.2 million price in the international market per one unit.
The Navy has been able to manufacture nearly 20 such arrow boats and
deploy them for Naval operation in the North and East during the past
In addition to strengthening the fleet of boats the Navy also could
save nearly Rs.11.5 million due to its capability to produce a Long
Range Surveillance Camera System priced Rs.20 million at the
international market at a cost of Rs.10.13 million with the assistance
of local experts.
The Research and Development Projects of the Navy also include the
manufacturing of Directional Antennas to extend the VHF communication
range in the East by sixty per cent to remove the existing VHF
The Sri Lanka Navy which is due to celebrate its 56th anniversary
tomorrow (December 9) could achieve these successes this year while
fulfilling their obligation to the nation by protecting the territorial
waters of the country.
The intensified surveillance by the Navy has brought effective
results in their bid to prevent arms smuggling to the country by the
LTTE. The Navy has apprehended and destroyed 10 LTTE boats including a
LTTE arms smuggling vessel destroyed in the sea off Kalmunai.
The detection of a Tiger trawler in the Gulf of Mannar region has
left the LTTE in a desperate situation as they have been severely hit by
the Navy action due to severe shortage of ammunition for the fighting
The battle to save the troops carrying vessel Pearl Cruiser II on May
11, 2006 in the sea off Point Pedro and the Jet Liner on August 1 can be
considered the most outstanding achievements by the Navy.
Apart from the sea battles the Navy also achieved successes in ground
battles in August. The Navy played a key role in keeping the Muttur
jetty under Security Forces control when LTTE launched a lightning
attack to Muttur and adjoining Army detachments on August 2.
The major role played by the Navy was also highlighted in the
aftermath of the closure of the A-9 road at Muhamalai following the
eruption of fighting between the Security Forces and the LTTE on August
The role played by the Navy to keep the lifeline between the mainland
and the Jaffna peninsula to keep the Jaffna people out of starvation was
the biggest humanitarian task undertaken by the Navy.
The Naval troops carried out this humanitarian task of providing
security for the ships transporting essential foods to the Jaffna
peninsula and also for the ships transporting Security Forces personnel
and civilians to and from the Jaffna peninsula was hailed by many
quarters in society.
The highest regard for the humanitarian task came from a person none
other than the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission on May 12, 2006 after the
LTTE attempt to attack Pear Cruiser II in the sea off Point Pedro.
The Deputy Head of Naval Monitoring Team in Jaffna Lars Bleymann in a
letter written to Northern Naval Commander Rear Admiral Upali Ranaweera
offered his gratitude to the Sri Lanka Navy in general and to Lt.
Walgampaya OIC of the P421 and his crew for their exemplary behaviour
during the LTTE attack on the Pearl Cruiser II and for saving his life.
"I cannot describe in words how thankful I am to him. His calm and
collected behaviour during this operation is a credit Sri Lanka Navy. I
mean that from the bottom of my heart. He never wavered, never lost his
coolness, and never lost his professionalism. Not one single second
during the attack did I have any doubts about his abilities. His crew
carried out his orders and were never in doubt. They too are credit to
Sri Lanka Navy", Lars Bleymann who was on board the Dvora gun boat wrote
in his letter.
"With people like that serving you, you can be rest assured that SLN
is in very good state," Bleymann in his remarks added.