Wednesday, February 11, 2009


SL govt's decision to put the Mig-29 deal on ice may prove to be a permanent move. At least that's the direction the decision makers should be moving in, now that the Mig-29 is proving to be full of nasty surprises.

The Russians built the graceful Mig-29 in response to the USAF's F-15. The jet fighter was a work of art not only in flight but even when sitting still. It's first plaudits came from the Indian AF who sported it against the Americans at the Top Gun range a few years ago. The news was that the IAF's Mig29s outperformed everything the US could throw at them. As usual the story behind the story looks more like the US hotshots didn't really contest the IAF because they wanted to scare Uncle Sam into buying them more expensive toys to play with. The USAF was gettiing kinda tired with their old F15s and F16s, and wanted the state of the art F22s in their inventory.

In later years, little bits of grim news started to float about the dependability of the fighter, which proved to be a very expensive asset to maintain. The Bangladeshis who bought a fleet of them gladly sold them to someone who offered ready cash, and somewhere in Africa someone else mothballed a couple of nice Mig29s due to maintenance nightmares. Now the Russians themselves are finding that the Mig29's tail tends to break off in mid-flight and have grounded everyone of their 260 or so aircraft.

Sri Lanka needs to re-think her air defence needs into the next few decades before investing in a new interceptor/bomber aircraft. The current fleet of Israeli built K'firs, F7Gs and Mig27s have done the job admirably, and are more than adequate for the immediate future needs.

Our next set of defence challenges cannot be expected to be at any higher tech level than it already has. After all, it is not as if SL could defend against a determined assault by the Indians in the air, if it ever came to that. There really isn't anyone else in our neck of the woods who has the ability or a big enough grudge, to pose a challenge either.

As for now, SLG should sit back and finish the job on hand, with the tools that have proven
adequate in every possible test. There'll be plenty of time to go buy shiny new toys once the pesky terrorists are all buried, and we've had a little time to think things through.

1 comment:

nemesis said...

Nice job TS. keep it up. yes. Best finish what must be done and we will have to maintain a strong visible presence in the liberated areas as well as around the island.

I think its best to keep what we have for the moment, shed the old 206's and aging 212 (I love the twins and they did gallant job..still do but I think we need to move to at least new 212's or 412's)

SLAF should get some good (after thorough evaluation) medium range MPA! With a strong sensor suit and some bite.

Then we can look for a multirole fighter for the SLAF.