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 Post subject: War secret revealed
 Post Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:14 pm 
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War secret revealed
LTTE marksman downed UAV from Tiger aircraft

By Shamindra Ferdinando
@ The Island /04 Oct 2009


"An LTTE aircraft launched from one of their runways east of the A9 had zeroed-in-on the Israeli-built Searcher Mark II, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), and had shot it down over the Vanni in 2005. LTTE aircraft had followed the UAV to enable a marksman to shoot it down with an assault rifle."

An authoritative security official yesterday revealed that the so-called Thamileelam Airforce had shot down an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in 2005 over the Vanni before the eruption of the Eelam War IV in July 2006 over the Mavilaru issue.

The shooting of this aircraft by an LTTE marksman on board a Tiger aircraft was a closely guarded secret as the government did not want to publicly admit the then unprecedented LTTE success.

Speaking on the condition on anonymity, he said that an LTTE aircraft launched from one of their runways east of the A9 had zeroed-in-on the Israeli-built Searcher Mark II while it was on a routine surveillance mission. The SLAF had blamed the disappearance of the UAV on a technical glitch.

The official acknowledged that they had never admitted losing a UAV due to direct LTTE action. Responding to our queries, he said that a slow moving UAV could have been targeted by an aircraft but it would not have been an easy task.

According to him, the SLAF at that time had been engaged in a surveillance operation targeting LTTE airfields that were being built and also other LTTE fortifications.

Military sources said that the recovery of a set of documents recently revealed details of the attack on the UAV. "They had carried out several rehearsals before the actual operation," he said.

An LTTE aircraft had followed the UAV to enable the marksman to shoot it down with an assault rifle. The documents recovered had detailed accounts of all air missions conducted against targets during the Eelam War IV.

The SLAF said that the army had recovered parts of the downed UAV (CI 307) buried at Kappukulam in the Puthukudirippu area on September 27. Army headquarters said that Task Force VIII troops engaged in clearing operations had found part of an UAV engine, three parts of an UAV camera, two UAV wings, two front wheels, one small rear wheel, eight bombs used for training, three bombs, four bags with damaged parts of an UAV, one oxygen cylinder and one aircraft engine.

The sources said that the government did not bring the LTTE attack to the notice of the Scandinavian truce monitoring mission.

During the CFA the LTTE urged the ceasefire monitors to stop the government from deploying UAVs as well as Beechcraft on surveillance missions over their territory as it violated the agreement.


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