Sri Lanka approves new fighter jets purchase plan

World Aviation Defense & Security News - Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka approves new fighter jets purchase plan
Sri Lanka's Cabinet has approved a proposal to purchase new fighter aircraft, the first major plan to buy military hardware since the war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam ended in 2009. "The idea is to buy eight multi-role fighter aircraft with associated weapons on a government-to-government basis," government spokesman Rajitha Senaratne told reporters.
Sri Lanka approves new fighter jet purchase plan 640 001Sri Lanka plans to modernize an ageing fleet of Kfir, J-7 and MiG-27 fighter jets
(Credit: SLAF)
Sri Lanka's fleet of Chinese-made F-7, Soviet-era MiG-27 and Israeli Kfir aircraft are about 30 years old and have become obsolete, according to experts.

The main role of the new fleet would be to defend the island's exclusive economic zone which stretches some 200 nautical miles (370 kilometres) offshore, senior sources in the government said.

Both neighbouring India and its rival Pakistan reportedly started talks to sell combat aircraft to the island.

Pakistan made a strong push in 2016 to sell eight JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighters to the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF). Officials details into how far talks had progressed or the extent Sri Lanka was ready to ink the contract were not released.The Pakistan Air Force Chief of Air Staff (CAS) – Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Sohail Aman – recently made an official two-day visit to Sri Lanka on an official invitation from Air Marshal G.P Bulattsinghala, the CAS of the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF).

(Source: AFP)