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Sri Lanka Air Force gets close look at India-made Tejas fighter jet

Tejas aircraft

By Sumit Kumar Singh

Sri Lanka Air Force got first hand feel of India's indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft Tejas as Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Navy participate in their 70th anniversary in Colombo.

Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria also visited Colombo on Thursday to take part in Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) 70th anniversary and also to strengthen bilateral relationship and open up newer avenues of mutual interest.

Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Navy participated in the Aerobatic Display by Sarang (Advance Light Helicopter), Surya Kiran (Hawks), Tejas Fighter Aircraft, Tejas Trainer and the Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

A total of 23 aircraft of the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy are participating in the event.

The detachment for the Aerobatic Display arrived in Colombo on February 27, 2021, with the support of C17 Globe Master and C130J transport aircrafts of Indian Air Force.

“The deployment of such wide variety and huge inventory of aircrafts and helicopters of IAF and Indian Navy is testimony to the strong bonds of friendship and close interoperability shared between the corresponding forces of India and Sri Lanka services," the Indian government said.

The Indian Air Force chief arrived at Colombo on Thursday an invitation from Sri Lanka Air Force chief Air Marshal Sudarshana APathirana.

Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) is celebrating its 70th anniversary on March 2 and presentation of the President's colours to two of its Units on March 5.

Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria attended the inaugural ceremony Thursday, during which a flypast was carried out. The aerobatic display was also carried out. The air show at Galle Face Colombo saw participation by an IAF contingent comprising of Suryakiran and Sarang Aerobatic Display Teams and Tejas LCA.

All the Indian aircraft on display are Made in India and as such represent the indigenous technical prowess of Indian research and development sector and reliability of products of India's Defence Industry.

Tejas Trainer, on display for the first time, afforded the opportunity of independent sorties for the Sri Lanka Air Force Pilots, accompanied with the Indian Pilots.

The officers from Sri Lanka Air Force and Sri Lanka Navy also had firsthand experience onboard the Indian Navy's AMaritime Patrol Aircraft Dornier.

"Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) pilots and Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) observers will fly along with the Indian crew. This is in continuation of the half yearly Dornier training sorties being facilitated for SLAF and SLN," the government said.

Further, Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria will interact with various dignitaries and the heads of Services of the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka during his two-day visit. "The visit will further strengthen the existing cooperative process and open up newer avenues of mutual interest," IAF said in a statement.