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SAARC DIARY: IAF, Indian Navy Participating in Sri Lankan Air Force Anniversary Celebrations

SAARC DIARY: IAF, Indian Navy Participating in Sri Lankan Air Force Anniversary Celebrations

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NEW DEHI, Mar 2: The Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy are participating with batteries of Sarang (Advance Light Helicopter), Surya Kiran (Hawks), Tejas Fighter Aircraft, Tejas Trainer, and the Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft for aerobatic display in the 70th Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) anniversary event in Sri Lanka beginning from Tuesday. The grand event will feature a total of 23 aircraft from the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.

The detachment for the aerobatic display had arrived in Colombo on February 27, with the support of C17 Globe Master and C130J transport aircrafts of the IAF.

The Sri Lankan Air Force is celebrating its 70th anniversary with the presentation of President’s Colours to No. 5 Fighter Squadron and No. 6 Helicopter Squadron on Tuesday. From March 3 to 5, Fly Past and aerobatic display will be held at Galle Face, which will be the first of its kind in Sri Lanka.

India is participating as a show of support and in keeping with years of close cooperation and camaraderie between the two countries’ militaries. The deployment of such a diverse and large inventory of aircraft and helicopters by the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy is a testament to the strong bonds of friendship and close interoperability shared by the respective forces of India and Sri Lanka, an official spokesman said.

All of the Indian aircraft on display are manufactured in India, demonstrating the country’s indigenous technological expertise the research and development market, as well as the dependability of its defence goods. The Tejas trainer, which is being displayed for the first time, will allow Sri Lankan Air Force pilots to fly independent sorties alongside Indian pilots while adhering to relevant health related stipulations.

Officers from the Sri Lankan Air Force and Navy will also get hands-on experience on-board the Indian Navy’s Maritime Patrol Aircraft Dornier during the deployment. This is in addition to the half-yearly Dornier training sorties that are given for the SLAF and SLN, the spokesman said.

In the field of security, Sri Lanka is India’s “Priority One” partner. During his recent visit to Sri Lanka for the trilateral Maritime Security Cooperation talks between India, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives, India’s National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval, assured Sri Lanka’s leadership of India’s full cooperation in the field of defence and security. The involvement of Indian Air Force and Indian Navy aircraft and personnel in the SLAF’s 70th Anniversary celebrations demonstrates the two countries’ Armed Forces’ increasing cooperation, camaraderie, and friendship, the spokesman said.

(Venkatesh Iyer)

 

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