Monday, February 12, 2007

MiGs return to 'ten squadron', Kfirs Upgraded

Sri Lanka Air Force's 10th Fighter Squadron (known as 'ten squadron' by the tigers) have got their most destructive weapon back. The MiGs are back in the game. Four newly acquired MiG27M 'Flogger' aircraft are now on active duty at Katunayake airbase. This addition has boosted the SLAF's air to ground and air to air attack capability significantly. Migs have better maneuverability than the Kfirs and they can carry bombing runs in bad weather conditions and are also capable of night missions. Meanwhile, the Kfir fleet of SLAF has been upgraded with LANTRIN targeting pods. This allows the Kfirs to bomb at greater accuracy and with pinpoint precision even at low level light conditions. Bombs delivered with the aid of LANTRIN pod have 1/30 meter precision. That is, the bomb will never fall beyond 30 meters of the original targeted location even in the worst case scenario.

With the new acquisitions and upgrades SLAF's Jet bomber fleet status is as follows:

  • Kfir Multirole Fighters: 10 on active duty (2 TC2/ 6 C2 / 2 C7) -10th fighter squadron
  • Mig27M Fighter-Bombers: 4 on active duty, 3 grounded pending maintenance -10th fighter squadron
  • F-7 Skybolt- 4 on active duty - 5th Jet squadron

Meanwhile, it is reliably leart by DefenceNet that the grounded MiG27 aircraft has been sent to a foreign country for re-fits. Once they are refitted, SLAF will have 7 MiG27 Flogget aircraft in possesion.

It will be interesting to see what the tigers will do in the wake of these new developments. They may try to attack the Kfir hangar at Katunayake Airbase again. Them attempting to smuggle anti -aircraft missiles from black market arms dealers is always a possibility. So far, they have failed to challenge SLAF's air superiority over the Srilankan skies.


  1. It is confirmed that the Lviv aircraft plant in Ukraine has indeed delivered 4 more MiG-27M aircraft to the SLAF. However, MiG-27M aircraft are flown by the No.5 Jet Squadron based at Katunayake together with F-7 aircraft. The No.10 Fighter Squadron flies Kfir C/2/7 aircraft. Actually, the MiG-27's are less maneuverable than the Kfirs (due to Delta wings and canards) and have a less sophisticated cockpit and no IR targeting systems. However, the MiG-27 scores in many aspects; it requires a shorter runway than the Kfir (which can only take off from KAT), has a better cockpit survivability due to the thick armour plated reinforced plating, has excellent slow speed flying characteristics, and can carry larger loads on the wing pylons.

  2. Indeed the addition of LANTIRN targeting pods gives the SLAF greater bombing accurancy but the real test would be if they will be able to get the 3rd generation AAQ-28 (V) LITENING AT (Advanced targeting) pod which is a self-contained, multi-sensor system that lets fighter pilots detect, watch, acquire, auto-track and target things viewed with highly accurate delivery of laser-guided or GPS-guided weapons. This pod is now available for the Kfir courtesy of Elbit systems.

  3. ""It is confirmed that the Lviv aircraft plant in Ukraine has indeed delivered 4 more MiG-27M aircraft to the SLAF.""

    Yes 3 of these aircraft were displayed on Independence day air show.

    It's unlikely that we'll get AAQ-28 system.


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