Wednesday, February 28, 2007

SLN Fast Attack Squadron destroys 2 LTTE boats

Sri Lanka Navy (SLN)'s Fast Attack Squadron intercepted an LTTE boat movement in the Pulmoddai seas yesterday night. A total of 14 LTTE crafts were sailing along the Pulmoddai coastline. Navy's Israeli built Super Dvora MK I/II fast attack craft attacked the rebel boat movement, destroying two boats and critically damaging another 3.

LTTE boats were hugging the coastline as a strategy to avoid naval patrols. However, this allowed the SLN and SLA ground troops deployed along the coastline attack the boat movement effectively and accurately. LTTE cadres on board the two destroyed craft are presumed killed (between 10-15 cadres were suspected to be on board). A further 3 rebel boats were seriously damaged by SLN fire. The fate of the crew of these crafts is unknown. Rest of the LTTE boats retreated towards Mullathiv.

LTTE boats are known to have a 30MM weapons system which outperforms the 23mm systems mounted in SLN inshore patrol craft.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

LTTE fires 122MM mortars at VIP escort

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fired mortar shells hit an VIP escort today in Batticaloa. 11 people sustained injuries due to the attack. US ambassador Robert Blacke and Italian ambassador Prio Mariani were among the injured. Both of them suffered shrapnel wounds. Disaster management minister Mahinda Samarasinghe was also on board an SLAF helicopter when the attack took place. He received no injuries. The escort was hit when the helicopters landed in the Webber stadium of Batticaloa.

122MM mortars can cause widespread damage and has a range of 7-10 KM.

Charles Anthony Brigade retrained: LTTE planning major assault in jaffna

The Charles Anthony brigade, which is one of the oldest and a highly trained infantry units of the LTTE, has been recalled to Wanni for a sudden training exercise. It was deployed in the forward defence lines in Muhamalai and Kilali to prevent a possible military offensive into the LTTE held region.

Charles Anthony brigade is the main fighting formation of the LTTE. Military intelligence sources reveal that increased forced recruitments and this sudden military training exercises are indications that LTTE is planning a major offensive into the Army held Jaffna peninsula while the military is focus is on the eastern province. Increased LTTE violence in Vavuniya is speculated to be a diversionary tactic as well.

Related information

The LTTE launched a similar major offensive to capture Jaffna town in last August. Waves of LTTE fighters attacked the army FDLs at Muhamalai and Kilali. At the same time LTTE shelled Palaly military base and Trincomalee naval base, effectively cutting all supply routes to the  northern peninsula. During the first day, the LTTE had advanced 800m into army held area, overruning 15 bunkers. Foreign military analysts and media agents were counting down to witness the surrendering of 40000 troopes trapped in the peninsula. However with an unexpected twist, army's elite 53rd division attacked the advancing tigers in three directions, boxing them in to the very same area they though they conquered. When the first and second waves failed, LTTE tried to land reinforcement through the Kilali lagoon. Susei (Codename Oska Sera) 's sea tiger units attempted an amphibious assault on Kilali defence lines but the landing party was met by a deadly MBRL rocket strike directed as per intelligence information. Meanwhile LTTE was sending infantry units to enagage the 53rd division units head on but they were unable to penetrate the FDL. The LTTE units who were engaged in the offensive were repeatedly asking for permission to withdraw (intercepted communication) but the LTTE command was determined to continue the offensive. By the next day, more than 350 bodies of fallen tigers were scattered in front of the defence lines. It's reported that more than 500 LTTE members died on this offensive and an equal number were injured. The army regained lost ground and after several weeks, advanced one 1km into rebel held area and captured LTTE's first bunker line.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Special Boat Squadron storms Tango One

Elite commando units of the Sri Lankan Navy special boat squadron (SBS- 'Wishesha Yathra Balaghanaya' in Sinhalese) have overrun several rebel bases in the Kamburupitiya region, forcing the LTTE caders to flee towards Trincomalee north. SBS personnel, along with army commando units have engaged in this operation to clear out a region in the Trincomalee distrcit which the rebels used to establish a supply link  between Wanni and LTTE bases in the eastern province. SBS personnel and army commandos have overrun more than 6 rebel bases during the last 5 days. Major LTTE base codenamed Tango One is among the captured bases.

The above mentioned area was the target of a massive air raid which involved Mi-24 gunships and warplanes, several weeks ago. Before the infantry movement began, the area was heavily shelled with MBRL rocket launchers and artillery guns. This itself caused many tigers to flee causing some of the bases fall to the military without any firefight. With the capturing of these bases, the LTTE have retreated to Trincomalee north.

The Sri Lankan Navy's Special Boat Sqadron is modelled after the US Navy SEALs and is one of the best amd most feared elements in the Sri Lankan military machine.

Army recruitment rates go up by 300%

It would not be an exaggreation to say that the Sri Lankan army have had the upper hand in undeclared Eelam War 4. A series of military victories at Sampoor, Mavilaru, Vakarai and one critical victory  at Muhamalai (August 2006), has increased the morale and public admiration of the Sri Lankan army. This has caused the army's recruitment rate to expand threefold.

During year 2005, 3400 new recruits joined the army. However, in 2006 a massive 10500 new recruitments were made. This is a 300% increase when compared with 2005 statistics. The army is enjoying an even better recruitment rate in 2007; for the first two months of 2007,a further 5670 new recruitments have been made.

Sri lankan army is the world's 34th largest army and is considered as one of the fastest growing armies in the world.

Friday, February 23, 2007

'Mahasohon Brigade' Returns

Several years ago (just before the CFA agreement was signed), mysterious incidents began to happen in the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) controlled territory. Unexplained claymore mine explosions took place near tiger safe houses and sometimes even inside their own bases. Some of these explosions targeted senior LTTE leaders. One bomb exploded near a safe house which was used by the LTTE leader himself. Tiger air wing leader (who was the right hand man of LTTE leadership at that time), Shankar was killed in one such explosion. Terror spread through LTTE bases and the most surprising thing was that no one knew what was going on. Even the media, who always had inside information about everything, couldn’t explain these mysterious incidents. It was speculated that the cause of these explosions was an internal conflict of LTTE.

Little did the tigers know (and the media) that a deep penetration unit of the Sri Lankan army had infiltrated tiger defense lines and were operating deep inside enemy territory. These elite units were known as the LRRP (Long Range Recon Patrol or "Digu Dura Wihidum Balakaya" in Sinhalese). They were better known in the military by the name "Mahasohon Brigade". Mahasona is a fierce demon who is mentioned in Srilankan folklore. This unit was so named because it gave LTTE what Mahasona in folklore was famous for; the element of fear. Activity of this unit was one of the main reasons tigers agreed for peace talks.

All was well until a traitor to the motherland named Kulasiri Udugampola, driven by greed and political powers, raided LRRP safe house in Millennium City. He released a list of names of those who were involved in the operations which the media published without hesitation. This helped the LTTE to hunt down the heroic units one by one, under the cover of the CFA. More than 80 LRRP personnel were assassinated by the LTTE. For the next 6 years, there was no news of this unit making it an element of the past.

Now let's zoom back to the present; few days before the mass ground troop movement to the recently captured Vakarai region began. During one night, 10 different claymore mines exploded in 10 different locations in then LTTE held territory, targeting regional leaders and tiger foot patrols. This caused the LTTE regional leader Swarnam (wounded by an airstrike) flee into the jungles of Trikonamadu. After Vakarai, several unexplained explosions went off in rebel bases in the north. Several more claymores struck sea tiger base supply routes. LRRP has returned.

Reformed LRRP unit is now a part of 3rd Special Forces regiment. Since reformation, it's been able to carry out several successful strikes at critical tiger movements not only in the east but even 25kms inside rebel held Mullathiv jungles. There is no doubt that the tiger leaders are already feeling the fiery heat of the "Mahasohon brigade".

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

53rd Division HQ artillery attack: Inside job suspected

On February 14th, LTTE directed a heavy artillery barrage towards army held Arali area using their long range artillery guns stationed in Pooneryn. The target of this barrage was the 53rd division headquarters. 53rd division consists of several special infantry batallions which are highly trained and heavily armed. Artillery shells hit the HQ buildings and 14 soldiers received injuries due to this. A meeting of 53rd division top officials was taking place in the HQ when the shells fell. Therefore, several senior army officials including the commander of 53rd division were among the injured.

However, the most worrying element in this incident is how the LTTE knew that a meeting was taking place. 53rd division meetings are held in utmost secrecy and only few know the time and location of the meeting untill it starts. Therefore, for the LTTE to know the exact time and location of meeting, someone from within the army has to pass them information.

Traitors, they should be given death sentence.

Monday, February 19, 2007

57th Division: SLA's new offensive Regiment

With the success of Special Forces operations in the east, the Sri Lankan army (SLA) have sent a new offensive regiment to the Northern war theater. The new division, called the 57th division, is attached to the Wanni Army HQ and is established as an offensive regiment. This division consists of highly trained special infantry units codenamed MAX INFANTRY.

Until now, the only special regiment in the north was the 53rd division. 53rd division is said to be the army's single most powerful fighting formation. It consists of Commandos, US Trained Infantry units, Pathfinders, Snipers and the Air Mobile Brigade (AMB). This division is assigned the role of responding to emergency situations that may arise in Jaffa city and suburbs. Because of this deployment, the army lacked an offensive regiment in the north which can be used as the vanguard in new offensives. However, several pathfinder units of 53rd division were used in the failed Muhamalai offensive. Elite units of the Air Mobile Brigade captured second LTTE bunker line at Muhamalai with ease but had to retreat to original positions due to miscommunication and inadequate planning of the offensive.

With the formation of 57th division, the army gets a new offensive regiment to the north. It is speculated that this division will lead all future military offensives in the north in conjunction with the Gemunu Watch.

LTTE planning to attack MiG27 hangar

Few weeks ago, LTTE political leader S.P. Thamil Selvam was interviewed by an Indian journalist. During the interview, Selvam was quoted saying that the LTTE had an 'answer' to the SLAF threat. This 'answer' is now no secret to the military intelligence. One of the military informants (codename Rocket) had warned the Air Force against a possible LTTE attack on the Mig27 hangar at Katunayake AB as well as on the Mi-24 Gunships stationed in Minneriya AB. Security was tightened in these air force bases soon after the warning was issued. The LTTE currently has no anti aircraft missiles and several attempts by them to purchase these missiles failed. Recent air force raids on their mortar positions and artillery gun positions have no doubt made the tigers plot to attack the hangars using a covert assault (which usually involves suicide cadres). Meanwhile, SLAF jet bomber fleet strength has increased by 40% during 2007 and is set to expand further when the 3 MiG27 aircraft that's been sent to a foreign country for re-fits, return.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Special Forces Identities Revealed by Media!

After the legendary assaults on rebel strongholds at Sampoor and Vakarai, Special Forces of the Srilankan army have received enormous respect both from the government and the public. They deserve the credit. There is no doubt about that; but have the media revealed too much?

Their role in Vakarai operation was critical. They had to infiltrate enemy lines and take out regional LTTE leaders. They had to retrieve coordinates of LTTE bases in the area and hand them over to the Air Force to carry out bombing runs. They accomplished these objectives without fault; when SLA infantry divisions reached Vakarai, LTTE didn’t have a leader left to command the counter attack. Their regional leader Swarnam was seriously injured by a 1000Kg bomb dropped right on top of his base (Swarnam Base) by a SLAF Kfir bomber. The coordinates for this target was given by the Special Forces who were operating deep inside enemy territory.

The point of the article is this; the names of SF Captains who lead the Vakarai operation were revelaed via television and newspapers numerous times. Isn't this a mistake? No country in the world releases identification data of their Special Force to the media. Isn't this putting their lives at unnecessary risk? Special Forces are supposed to be a shadowy part of the military and are used to do infiltrations, offensives and covert ops. Why reveal their names?

We hope that TV stations and military leadership will be wise enough not to reveal details of 3rd special forces regiment. That is because we do not want the history to repeat itself; LRRP incident. LRRP has been re formed and is now a part of 3rd SF regiment (await a separate article on this). Few years ago, a traitor in the police raided their safe house at millennium city and the newspapers published the list of names of those who were part of LRRP. Tigers took them out one by one.

Don’t let the history repeat itself. SF deserves the credit for their die hard operations. But if the credit will endanger their lives, what use would that be?

DefenceNet - FILEnetworks Alliance

DefenceNet and FILEnetworks have decided to tie up to provide better content to the viewership of both the blogs.

The tie up will allow both the blog to provide better intergration with each other, increase user base and to share content. However it shold be noted that FILEnetworks and DefenceNet operations would still be totally independant of each other.  

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

3 Destroyed 120MM Mortars found in Vakarai

Security forces personnel engaged in search operation in recently captured Vakarai region has found the remains of (3) 120MM mortar launchers. With this latest finding, the total number of heavy weapons captured from LTTE reaches 6; Two 152MM artillery guns(Destroyed), 3 120MM Mortars (Destroyed), 1 120MM Mortar (Functional). Earlier, it was speculated that the fleeing LTTE cadres were able to smuggle 3 120MM mortars along with them.

120MM Mortar is a weapon which is equally dangerous as a 122MM artillery gun . Range of this weapons is shorter than that of an artillery gun but the mortar shell fired by this weapon can cause substantial  splash damage. Therefore this is called by the soldiers as 'arti-mortar' (which depicts the resemblance to artillery gun)

The LTTE cadres who are now in Thoppigala area are said to have several 120MM mortars in their possesion. In addition to that, it is learnt by DefenceNet that they are also in possesion of a 6 barrel Multiple rocket launcher (107MM). How or when they will use these weapons remains to be seen.

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.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

All LTTE cluster bases in Ampara overrun by STF

Special Task Force (STF), the commando units of the Srilanka Police have successfully overrun all the LTTE cluster bases in the Ampara district in Operation Definite Victory (Niyathai Jaya). This limited offensive was started to rout the tigers from the dense jungles of Kanchikudichchiaru, where frequent child abductions took place.

More than 800 STF troopers, backed with artillery, Unicorn Mark Buffel armoured vehicles and SLAF Mi-24 gunship support, marched from the Bakmitiyawa region into the LTTE controlled jungles of Kanchikudichchiaru, several weeks before. Since then, STF has been able to capture over 20 LTTE bases located in the jungle. These bases include several major bases (including main LTTE base at Ampara codenamed Stanley) , mini bases, intelligence camps, logistics bases, one camouflage clothes productions center (Janak Base), hostipal complex (called by tigers as Theepan memorial hospital) and one LTTE women fighter camp (Diana Base). During the offensive, STF encountered little resistance from the tigers. However, large hauls of weapons and ammunitions, vehicles, teleivision sets, satellite communication equipment, generators and on one occasion even a large quantity of Condoms (!) were left behind by the fleeing LTTE cadres. Interestingly, many of these items were found to be donated by non governmental organisations (NGO) as relief items to civillians. As of 11/02/2007, all LTTE cluster camps in Ampara district have been either destroyed or captured by the police commandos. Whether the LTTE will hitback to re capture these areas remains to be seen. However, with the fall of many strongholds such as Vakarai in the eastern region recently, such a move seems unlikely in near future.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

DefenceNet is now online.

Hello and welcome to DefenceNet. This blog is dedicated to discussing military activities in Srilanka. We will post original articles/videos/images relating to both SLA/ LTTE offensive operations, defensive operations, covert operations, regiments, details of weapons used by both parties and basically anything related to the conflict in Srilanka.
We hope to keep the content of this blog as impartial as possible. However, we do believe that the LTTE is a terrorist organization. Above all, we will always try to post nothing but the truth.
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