Friday, April 6, 2007

SLAF fighter jets are not flown by foreign pilots

Last week it was reported in a local newspaper that SLAF fighter jets are flown by Pakistani and Ukrainian pilots. This is misleading information.

MiG27 aircraft were flown by Ukrainian pilots during the past. However newly acquired MiG aircraft are flown by Sri Lankan pilots who underwent training in India. Once again, none of the combat aircraft in 5th and 10th squadrons are flown by foreign pilots. The same applies for Helicopter gunships.   

24 comments:

  1. For a fact, I can tell you that No 10 Squadron has about 8-10 serviceable Kfir jet fighters. However, there are only 6 pilots who are qualified to fly Kfirs.

    As far as the MiGs go, No 5 Squadron goes, it has 4 serviceable aircraft with another 3 set to return from refurbishment soon. I have no hard information as to the number of qualified MiG-27 pilots we have, probably between 4 and 5 pilots.

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  2. There are 6 qualified MiG27 pilots. What you said is true. There are 10 Kfirs but only 6 qualified pilots. However there are more than enough for gunships and transport aircraft.

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  3. A Fighter Pilots job is one of the most glamorous, at the same time one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Throughout history, the fighter pilot has been considered as amongst the Elite of society. Many young boys dream about growing up to become fighter pilots. I wonder why this attitude doesn’t exist amongst Sri Lankans.

    From the time I was 3 my dream was to fly for the SLAF as a fighter pilot. Sadly I was cursed with poor vision and I could never realize my childhood dream. What an honor it is, to fly up there, joining the ranks of a society’s elite few who get to call themselves fighter pilots.

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  4. What exactly are the requirements for SLAF fighter pilots ? Do they recruit straight from the public or from current gunship and transport pilots ? Do gunship and transport pilots require perfect vision ? Just curious :D

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  5. I’m not a military expert. But I’m pretty sure a jet pilot enjoys pretty safer life than an infantry solder.

    I think over military’s approach to recruitment is quite old fashion. It is kind of even humiliating when they show boys in the lineup at 8 o’clock national news without shirts. And so on..

    But in the other hand, countries like America have total deferent approach to recruitment through schools, universities and even through private recruitment agencies. Young person joint military in those places not just because it is military, because it provides beyond military.

    But honestly speaking our military and our society need to learn to treat our military personals better - lot better. Then we will have more number of bright people float in to military than now.

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  6. i think they recruit fighter Pilots from existing Transport and Gunship pilots. Wonder why they haven't put up any Vacancies on newspapers. not even for a Cadets.. saw couple of Ads for Navy Personnel, but thats for Volunteer stuff.. :o)

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  7. ... and how many F7 pilots Do we got?

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  8. All the SLAF fighter pilots are picked from existing Fixed Wing pilots. That means they would have had to have flown a certain number of hours on Transport aircraft. Helicopter pilots are not considered for fighters. They are instead picked to fly the gun ships once hey complete a certain number of flying hours on transport helicopters.

    As far as the F-7s go, all their pilots were trained to fly KFirs and MiG-27s. To a certain extent newly graduated jet pilots are first allowed to practice on the F-7s before they are allowed to fly the KFirs. Once they complete a certain number of flying hours on KFirs, they can move on to fly the MiG-27s. That’s the way it works in the SLAF.

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  9. just for clarification indunil/defencenet, can the 6 kfir pilots also fly the MiG?

    thanks again

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  10. Generally speaking a fighter pilot can fly just about any type of jet fighter aircraft. However the handling characteristics of each type of aircraft differs. A Kfir pilot can fly MiG-27s, providing he knows the characteristics of the aircraft. Like the ideal landing approach speeds, stall speeds etc.

    In most AirForces, jet pilots are generally trained to fly more than 1 type of aircraft. As far as the SLAF goes, i am not sure, but i believe that those pilots who are trained on the MiG-27 had flown Kfirs earlier. So some if not all the MiG-27 drivers can also fly Kfirs.

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  11. thanks dude. so that must mean we have 12 qualified fighter pilots?

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  12. Yeah thats about correct. SLAF probably has around 12-15 fighter pilots qualified to fly MiG-27s and/or Kfirs. There are more in training in India i believe. Anyway its not even enough pilots to man one squadron.

    Generally a squadron has around 18 aircraft (12 Operational and 6 reserve) and 20-22 pilots. One thing you all should remember. Not anyone can be good fighter pilot. You got to be born a fighter pilot. They are a breed appart.

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  13. If I were trying to put the SLAF strike capability offline, I'd forget about bombing hangars, and start huntig for those twelve pilots. I hope they're being guarded well, 'cos at the moment they're more important to SL than the president.

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  14. ""I'd forget about bombing hangars, and start huntig for those twelve pilots. I hope they're being guarded well,""

    Agree with you. However, a second k-8 trainer jet's takeoff to intercept tiger aircraft that night failed because the pilot's firearm fell and injured his ankle. The wound is not serious.

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  15. "Agree with you. However, a second k-8 trainer jet's takeoff to intercept tiger aircraft that night failed because the pilot's firearm fell and injured his ankle. The wound is not serious."

    Defencenet. Don't tell me, the plan was for the K-8 to fly beside the LTTE aircraft so that the SLAF pilot could open the canopy and shoot at the LTTE plane with firearms? We going back to World War 1 tactics or something? Do K-8s have an inbuilt gun?

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  16. No the firearm is a default issue for all pilots. It's for personal safety in case the plane was shot down in enemy territory.

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  17. DefenceNet i was only joking about the firearms thing. But seriously, are the K-8s equipped with an internal gun or do they carry gunpods? Do the SLAF even have gunpods? I know they used air to ground rockets, especially with the Puccaras, but never heard of the SLAF using gunpods. Can you clarify this.

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  18. So what needs to be done to become a Air force Personnel in Age 25 or 26? what are the Basic requirements? what can do with a University degree? can he Joined as a Pilot straight away or is there any Specific Routine for that? by the way how they Recruit Personnel for Technical Branch? :o)

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  19. indunil,
    I think the F-7s have gunpods. And when the Voice of Tigers station was attacked, LTTE communication suggested that warplanes hit the towers with Mortar rounds. As we all know warplanes cant fire mortars and it could be rocket pods the tigers referred to as Mortars.

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  20. In Sri Lanka you can get to go to Trinco Naval base, have a photoshoot and fly off to UK if you know the right people.

    In SL, selection is based on whether you are talented enough to be born in the right family circle.

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  21. Navindran… Buddy isn’t that the case everywhere else in the world as well. Since you seem so cut up about it would you like me to arrange for you to go to the dockyard in Trinco the next time your down on holiday. By the way talent as you mentioned has nothing to do with being born to the right family… it’s just plain luck…

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  22. Anybody know the report on TN abt the Unidentified aircraft over Jaffna yesterday ? Apparently, our brothers had blackouted their camps as a precaution. what gives ? no...that unproblamatic Indian made Radar at Palaly ? Hmmmm ! Anybody ?

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  23. Anybody know the report on TN abt the Unidentified aircraft over Jaffna yesterday ? Apparently, our brothers had blackouted their camps as a precaution. what gives ? no...that unproblamatic Indian made Radar at Palaly ? Hmmmm ! Anybody ?

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  24. A very good friend of mine is a fighter pilot who lives in Colombo area(I do not want to say his loctaion exactly).Nobody is gaurding him.

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