|Two Tiger Planes shot down - update
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|Author:||Saman [ Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:25 am ]|
|Post subject:||Two Tiger Planes shot down - update|
Two Tiger Planes shot down
"The first light aircraft, believed to have dropped a bomb on the Inland Revenue Department Headquarters on Sir Chittampalam Gardner Mawatha, has apparently crashed on to the floors between third and twelfth (top). Pilot would have lost control of it after hit by Air Defence Systems, initial Police investigation have reveled. Investigating teams have so far collected one arm belived to be from the Tiger pilot who had been blown to pieces with the crash. Eye witness who was in the canteen on an upper floor confirmed the crashing of the aircraft above their heads produce a thundering bang that terrified them. The extent of the damage to the Inland Revenue Building is yet to be evaluated".
Saturday, February 21, 2009
@ Agencies / MOD
Two planes operated by Tamil Tigers were shot down by anti-aircraft fire after a raid on Sri Lanka’s capital of Colombo, last nigt, Ministry of Defense said.
The Two LTTE aircraft were detected in the air above the Colombo around 9.45 last night (Feb 20). Following the detection, air defence system was activated causing the two aircraft to abort their missions.
One of the aircraft disabled by anti air gunfire reportedly crashed in the rear of the Inland Revenue Department building located on the Sir C.A. Gardiner road. Air Force sources said that the second aircraft that had been trying to escape from air defence system was shot down while flying over Negambo . Parts of the destroyed aircraft along with the body of the pilot were found close to the Katunayake Air Base. The pilot wore a cyanide capsule round his neck and hand grenades strapped to his chest, according to reports.
Due to the crash of the first Tiger aircraft in Colombo, 47 people have suffered injuries. According to the sources at the National Hospital Colombo, two of the injured were succumbed to their injuries. Meanwhile, another 6 civilians suffered injuries in the air craft crash in Katunayake were admitted to the Negambo hospital. One of the injured has been transferred to the national hospital , Colombo, hospital sources said.
Immediately after the detecting the Tiger aircraft taking wing at 9.20 pm from a location in the uncleared areas, air defence systems were activated, and anti aircraft guns were fired. The colourful anti-aircraft streamers were seen criss-crossing the Colombo skies around this time with people gathering in tall buildings in Colombo to get a better view of the scene which looked like a fireworks display.
After the first aircraft crashed with a big thud on the Inland Revenue Department(IRD) Building, the building caught fire. The fire brigade managed to control the raging flames within few minutes. Air Force spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara said that he could not confirm whether the aircraft had dropped a bomb on the building before being shot down. “I cannot confirm it. However, the aircraft has crashed on to the building,” he said, adding that possibly a bomb had caused the fire.
Army spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said the LTTE’s air wing was totally destroyed now. “According to our information, they had three aircraft. We had destroyed one earlier. The remaining two have also been brought down now. So, their air wing is totally finished now,” the Brigadier said. Asked how these aircraft had taken off despite military having captured seven air strips belonging to the Tigers, he said that they were light aircraft which did not need an air strip to take off. He said that a small stretch of road was sufficient for takeoff.
Airport authorities said that three flights had been cancelled following the intrusion by the Tiger aircraft. An airport official said a Hong Kong bound flight scheduled for 10.35pm, a Bangkok bound one at 12.25 pm and a Chennai-bound one at 2.20 pm were cancelled. He said the airport had been closed for flight operations, but could not give details of the work schedule for today
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa also visited the site of the plane wreck after the incident.
|Author:||Saman [ Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:53 am ]|
|Post subject:||Tigers go kamikaze but fail|
Tigers go kamikaze but attacks fail
The LTTE planes were packed with 215 kg of C-4 explosives. If the aircraft had hit their intended targets, the devastation would have been severe. A military source said a search of the wreckage found that the pilot had no night vision equipment to fly in pitch darkness and instead used a pocket torch and a hand-held global positioning device. "We have recovered the wreckage in almost one piece and found 215 kilos of C-4 type high explosives, But the aircraft had very basic navigational aides" Wing Commander Nanayakkara said.
By Asif Fuard
@ ST / Sunday February 22, 2009
Tamil Tigers for the first time tried out a kamikaze-style suicide bomb attack in Colombo by packing the two light aircraft with more than 200 kilograms of explosives each, investigators reported yesterday. Police and the Government Analyst’s Department officials who held forensic investigations on the debris of the two LTTE aircraft discovered that for the first time the Tiger planes had not carried bombs but were packed with explosives.
Military spokesman Udaya Nanayakara said yesterday this was the first time the LTTE had attempted a suicide attack using its planes. “In previous instances, the LTTE just dropped bombs. But this time the aircraft did not carry bombs. The LTTE planes were packed with 215 kg of C-4 explosives. The mission was unsuccessful. If the aircraft had hit their intended targets, the devastation would have been severe,” he said.
Brigadier Nanayakkara said the Czech-built Zlin-Z143 light aircraft which had taken off from the LTTE’s final stronghold of Puthukkudiyiruppu in Mullaitivu had targeted the Sri Lanka Air Force headquarters and the Sri Lanka Air Force base hangars adjoining the international airport in Katunayake.
The Seeduwa Police are conducting investigations on the wreckage of the Tiger plane which was shot down outside the Katunayake Air Force base while the Kompannaveediya police are carrying out the probe on the wreckage of the plane which crashed onto the Inland Revenue Department building at Sir Chittampalam Gardiner Mawatha.
Earlier, there were reports that the pilot of the Tiger plane shot down at Katunayake was a foreigner. But police now say the pilot was an LTTE member. However a DNA test is to be carried out on the body.
According to evidence, the two LTTE planes had taken off from Puthukkudiyiruppu around 8.45 p.m. They flew over Mankulam and Silavaturai and made a turn at Mannar on their way to Colombo. The two aircraft were said to have been flying at low altitude and were first heard by ground troops operating in the areas surrounding Puthukkudiyiruppu West. The Tiger planes are said to have switched off their lights to avoid being detected.
Minutes after the first alert, the Sri Lanka Air Force radar in Vavuniya picked up the signs of aircraft coming from Mullaitivu and heading towards the northwestern coastal area. Soon after that the radar in Palavi also picked up signals of two aircraft heading towards the western coast. Immediately electricity in Colombo city was switched off and the Air Defence system fully activated. Simultaneously, a number of F-7 jets took off from the Katunayake Air Force base to intercept the LTTE planes.
The night sky was illuminated by flares and anti-aircraft fire which made it almost impossible for the LTTE planes to hit their intended targets. Troops at checkpoints were also reported to have frantically shot at the night sky to bring down the planes.
One of the planes was said to have been circling around the city and was seen passing the Colombo harbour and taking a turn over Galle Face before it was eventually shot down over Kompannaveediya.
Highly placed military sources told The Sunday Times the LTTE pilot was said to have lost control over the plane when it was shot at, resulting in the plane crashing into the IRD building. The impact triggered the blast of the explosives that were packed in the plane.
Some 58 people were injured due to the explosion, while two deaths were reported – one of them was a 14-year-old child from Obeysekarapura. She was hit by a stray bullet when the security forces activated their defence systems. The plane which crashed at the IRD building was completely destroyed with fragments of the plane and body parts of the pilot all over the place. Part of the engine of the plane is reported to be in the 12th floor of the building.
Around 10.45 pm it was reported that the second LTTE plane had been shot down by anti-aircraft fire over Katunayake. The pilot carried a picture of the Air Tiger Wing members with LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran seated in the middle. He also had two cyanide capsules around his neck and a hand grenade. The attack came after troops who had entered Puthukkudiyiruppu North on Thursday discovered partially-burnt remnants of two aircraft believed to have been in the process of being assembled. One was a small aircraft and the other an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
Defence Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said yesterday the government had been expecting such an attack in the aftermath of the LTTE’s debacles in the north. He said it was a desperate attack by the LTTE to bring it into the limelight at a time when it was facing a disgraceful defeat.
|Author:||Saman [ Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:02 am ]|
|Post subject:||Why weren’t flying Tigers intercepted?|
Why weren’t flying Tigers intercepted?
"It was impossible to attack LTTE aircraft, because they were flying at 300 feet, which was too low for Air Force planes." “Once they reached an altitude of around 10,000 feet, they could be targeted successfully. When the aircraft is flying at a lower level it is impossible to attack,”
@ The nation /Sunday February 22, 2009
Questions are once again being asked as to why the Air Force failed to intercept the LTTE aircraft before they reached Colombo, on their ninth air raid on Friday night. This is in the light of the service publicly stating that it was well prepared to meet any challenge from the rudimentary aircraft operated by the Tigers.
Some are of the opinion that they should have been intercepted before reaching Colombo knowing the fact the threat they pose to the vital installations in the Commercial Capital.
Air Force Spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara yesterday, however, said that it was impossible to attack LTTE aircraft, because they were flying at 300 feet, which was too low for Air Force planes.
He insisted that the Air Force was on alert to meet the enemy from the time they were spotted around 8:30 pm and their arrival time was estimated. When the aircraft reached Colombo to attack the Air Force Headquarters, they were successfully shot down, according to the spokesman.
“Once they reached an altitude of around 10,000 feet, they could be targeted successfully. When the aircraft is flying at a lower level it is impossible to attack,” he explained.
This was the ninth attack carried out by the LTTE since 2007. The first was on March 26, 2007, when they attacked Katunayake, followed almost a month later on April 24, 2007, by an attack on Palali. April 29, 2007, saw Kolonnawa being targeted with October 22, 2007, being the last attack of that year in Anuradhapura.
Last year, there were four more attacks. The first of 2008 was on Welioya on April 26, August 26 on Trincomalee and the third on September 9 on Vauniya. Many will remember the Talliadi and Kelanitissa attacks on October 28, as the last sighting of the LTTE aircraft before Friday.
Suicide air attack: More details emerge
Army recovers 13 empty SAM launchers in North
‘Tigers may have another plane and chopper’
by Shamindra Ferdinando
@ The Island - Monday, March 09, 2009
Investigations have revealed that both LTTE aircraft involved in the February 20 abortive suicide attacks on Katunayake air base and SLAF headquarters had been hit by the newly created 32 land-based air defence wing.
SLAF spokesperson Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara told The Island that by the way of an elimination process they were able to identify the gun which zeroed-in on the Zlin 143, as it approached SLAF Headquarters in Colombo as a 12.7 mm mounted on the top of a high-rise building situated in close proximity to the Central Bank. Initial reports indicated that the weapon that hit the aircraft had been mounted on a building at the Rangala navy base.
The aircraft which targeted the Katunayake air base had been hit by 12.7 mm, 23mm and 40mm rounds, the official said, adding that according to a post mortem, the man at the controls had his lungs pieced by a 12.7 mm tracer round. That particular round had been fired by a gunner atop a building at Katunayake.
Nanayakkara said that the air defence wing which had received a mega boost in terms of men and equipment following previous LTTE raids, particularly the one directed at the Kelanitissa power station late last October, responded commendably.
An official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The Island that the Air Tigers at the controls of the two explosives-laden aircraft had deviated from their previous practice of flying low over the sea and entering Colombo over the Modera estuary. He asserted that as the Air Tigers had been most probably aware of the anti-aircraft unit based close to the Kerawalapitiya power plant, they had flown overland to Colombo where one of them made his bid. According to him, anti-aircraft gunners deployed at two locations in the city had fired at the aircraft approaching the SLAF headquarters before the gunners on the top of a high-rise in the financial district successfully engaged the aircraft. Responding to our queries, he said that the explosives-laden aircraft had exploded before its wreckage slammed into the Inland Revenue headquarters.
According to the official, the LTTE cadre at the controls of the second aircraft which had been flying over the city turned towards Katunayake to carry out his mission only after the blast hit the Inland Revenue headquarters.
Flying extremely low, the aircraft had approached the Katunayake air base, home to the SLAF’s precious jet squadrons, before the land based air defence wing brought it down. Before the aircraft was hit, the pilot, now believed to have been the most experienced flyer among the Air Tigers had survived SA-16 Gimlet, a Russian-built surface-to-air guided missile fired by the SLAF. Air Tigers also escaped a missile fired by a Chinese F7 interceptor.
Deployed since1986, it is similar to the SA-14 also called Strela 3 acquired by the LTTE some time ago. The Trincomalee police on February 25 recovered SA-14 surface-to-air guided missile buried in the Thoppigala area. The recovery was made on information received by SSP Vass Gunawardena, in charge of the Trincomalee Division, another official said, adding that it had been in working order except for the battery and missing gripstock.
Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara told The Island that the Task Force II conducting clearing operations in the Udayarkattu on the eastern flank had recovered 13 empty launchers of surface-to-air guided missiles. Each carried the name of the LTTE cadre who fired the missile and the date of its launch. Responding to our queries, he said all 13 were believed to be SA 14s.
The 32 land based air defence wing is armed with 40 mm L 70s equipped with a fire control system, 23 mm twin barrels of Bulgarian origin, 20 mm of Israeli make and Chinese 12.7 mm. Its assignment had been facilitated by the acquisition of powerful search lights. The sources said that the deployment of mobile anti-aircraft units, too, played a vital role in the overall strategy to meet the Air Tigers threat.
The sources said that the LTTE could still have one Zlin 143 and one helicopter in its possession. "We are on alert," an officer said adding that the threat would remain until the army liberated the area still under LTTE control.
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