Published On: Sun, Sep 30th, 2012

Air Tigers of LTTE Full Documentary with Video

Tigers  Air wing

Logo of the Air Tigers, incorporating the Tamil Tigers logo

The Air Tigers (Tamil: வான்புலிகள்) was the air-wing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who used it against the Government of Sri Lanka. Though the existence of the Air Tigers had been the subject of speculation for many years, the existence of the wing was only revealed after an attack in March 2007, during Eelam War IV.

Video:Airtigers of LTTE Full Documentary

Contents

1 Early reports of the Air Tigers
2 Attacks
2.1 Alleged air attack on Palali
2.2 Katunayake Air Force Base attack
2.3 Palali raid
2.4 Colombo raids
2.5 Anuradhapura attack
2.6 Weli Oya Attack
2.7 Strike on Trincomalee harbour
2.8 Vavuniya attack
2.9 Mannar and Colombo strikes
2.10 Suicide Air Raid on Colombo
3 Demise
4 See also
5 References
6 External links

Early reports of the Air Tigers

A Zlin Z 43
A Cessna Skymaster

The LTTE credits the formation of the Air Tigers air-wing to Colonel Shankar, alias Vythialingam Sornalingam, a diploma graduate of Hartley College in Point Pedro. He has an Engineering Diploma in Aeronautics from Hindustan Engineering College in Tamil Nadu, India[citation needed].

On November 27–28, 1998, Tamilnet reported[1][2] the LTTE-operated Voice Of Tiger radio station had claimed “Aircraft of the Air Tiger wing of the Liberation Tigers [had] sprinkled flowers over the cemeteries of the slain LTTE cadres in Mulliyawalai,” during the annual Heroes Day celebrations. Earlier in the month, the web based news agency reported (November 19, 1998) an unidentified aircraft allegedly belonging to the LTTE had been spotted in the Thondamanaaru region in Jaffna by Sri Lankan Navy officials. The report said it was also believed the Tigers had built an airstrip in the Mullaitivu army base after it was overrun by the LTTE in 1996.

Aircraft in LTTE possession[3] Type of Aircraft Quantity


Micro Light Aircraft 2
ZLIN 143 5
Helicopters 2
Unmanned aerial vehicles 2

On November 27, 1998 Tamilnet reported Deputy Minister for Defence Anuruddha Ratwatte had scoffed at speculation that the LTTE has acquired aircraft, claiming the reports were part of an LTTE strategy of psychological warfare. Three days later, the news service reported unconfirmed reports of a Tiger helicopter being sighted in the Batticalloa‐Amparai region. The report also said The Sunday Times Military analyst Iqbal Athas had reported military intelligence UAVs had taken images of the LTTE helicopters and Mulativu airstrip. The Sunday Times Situation Report said (November 1, 1998)[4] “Senior SLAF officials suspect the helicopter on ground to be similar to R44 Astro — a small, light, four-seat, piston-engined civilian helicopter produced by the Robinson Helicopter Company since 1992. Sri Lankan newspapers corroborated discovery of an R44 Astro [1]

and also suggested that Australian LTTE contacts had facilitated the purchase of two Australian-made AirBorne microlight aircraft. The Singapore based Asian Tribune e-newspaper claimed (July 28, 2006) the LTTE had acquired two Czech-built Zlin Z‐143′s, according to eyewitnesses in Eliranpuram, Pudukudiyiruppu and Meerukandi, who also claim to have frequently seen the Cessna Skymasters flying overhead for several months. The report also said it was believed the acquisition had been made between April and July 2006.

Similarly, news of LTTE airstrips in the north had made periodic appearances in the southern Sri Lanka media, including a May 28, 2005 admission by the Norwegian‐led Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission of having sighted an airstrip in the Iranamadu area, in northern Sri Lanka. The new air strip was reportedly located near the ruins of another Tiger air strip that was abandoned due to air force bombing in the late 1990s. On March 16, 2007 the Daily Mirror defence analyst Sunil Jayasiri reported military intelligence had revealed the LTTE had constructed yet another airstrip in the South East of Pudukiduiruppu area in the East. “The Pudukiduiruppu airstrip is 1,250 metres long and therefore even a Hercules C-130 aircraft could land with a full load of cargo”, the report said. The Sri Lankan Government alleged that the aircraft have been shipped with foreign aid.[5] That year, Air Tigers smuggled ten unassembled Czech fighter jets onto their bases.

LTTE releases photographs of air mission

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have for the first time released photos of their Air-Tigers to media with Tamileelam Air Force (TAF) first major mission. While reputed military analysts speculated on the LTTE use of air-craft limited to self-destroy missions, Tigers have surprised them by using locally designed payload carrying mechanisms, and automatic ammunition discharge circuitry, and demonstrated capability to fly night missions.

Liberation Tigers credit the formation of the Tiger air-wing (Vaanpuligal) to Colonel Shankar alias Vythialingam Sornalingam, an old boy of Hartley College, Point Pedro. He was an aeronautical engineer with Air Canada, with an Engineering Degree in Aeronautics from Hindustan Engineering College in Tamil Nadu.

Shankar was the chief of the ‘Air Tigers’ and was responsible for developing the air wing from its infancy until his assassination in December 2001.

Tigers have not disclosed the type and number of light-wing air crafts in their possession.

However, Tigers have succeeded in using locally made fixtures attached to air-craft frame to allow automatic weapon discharge, under pilot control, of four gravity bombs.

The bombs appear to be 45-50 inch long and 10-12″ diameter at the middle of the body, and fitted with a tail section with six fins to improve stability during its ballistic trajectory towards the target.

After initial acknowledgement by Liberation Tigers that they were involved in building an air-wing in November 1998, Tigers were ambiguous in their response in September 2006 when there was speculation that a Tiger air-craft fired rockets at the Palaly Airforce base.

Runway in Iranaimadu, inside Liberation Tigers controlled Vanni, which is clearly visible in Satellite images, was a contentious issue between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE during the period after the signing of CeaseFire Agreement in 2002.

Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) Kfirs ran bombing raids dropping bombs on Iranaimadu runway, but LTTE said the damages have been repaired and the runway is usable. However, it is not clear if the LTTE air-crafts that bombed the SLAF military base in Katunayake used the Iranaimade runway for takeoff and landing. LTTE reserved comment on this matter.

Attacks

Alleged air attack on Palali

On August 11, 2006, quoting unidentified sources in Jaffna, Tamilnet reported[7] that “at least one unidentified aircraft” had flown over the Sri Lankan military base at Palali, firing “rockets” at government forces. “Sri Lanka Army (SLA) artillery fire being directed from the base stopped after the attack…,” the report said. When contacted by the Tamilnet to comment on the reported aerial attack the LTTE military spokesman Irasaiah Ilanthirayan alias Marshall was reported to have said “we will use our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines in an all out defensive measure to protect our people and homeland.” The report was openly dismissed by the Colombo administration as blatant Tiger propaganda.

Military analyst Iqbal Athas[8] said “Air Force officials flatly denied the claim,” adding a Bell 212 helicopter was damaged due to artillery fire, but Athas claimed personal communications with military sources had suggests the possibility of an unidentified aircraft.

A few weeks before the alleged aerial attack on Palali, the web based news agency published a series of ‘edited’ images taken during the July 5 Black Tiger celebration, at an undisclosed location in the Tiger held Wanni region. Significantly one of the images showed the tiger leader flanked by a number of Black Tiger ‘suicide’ cadre in the foreground against the backdrop of a somewhat crudely painted fixed wing military aircraft, with symbolically ambiguous flames emanating from the cockpit.[9]
Katunayake Air Force Base attack

The first LTTE air attack happened in March 2007. Two LTTE Z Lin Z 143 aircraft penetrated the outer defences of the Katunayake Air force base north of Colombo on Monday, March 26, 2007, killing three air force officials and wounding 16–17 others. It was believed the attack was targeted at the IAI Kfirs and newly acquired MiG jets which had been bombing targets in LTTE-controlled territory. The base is located near Bandaranaike International Airport, which had been attacked by the Tigers in July 2001. The LTTE are also the only internationally-recognised militant group to field aircraft.

At present the Sri Lankan Air Force’s 10 Fighter Ground Attack Squadron operates ten Kfir Multirole Fighters (2 TC2/ 6 C2 / 2 C7). In addition 5 Jet squadron employs four Mig27M Fighter‐Bombers, with three more grounded pending maintenance; and four F‐7 Skybolts. Both the 5 Jet squadron and 10 Fighter Ground Attack Squadron are based at the Katunayake air base and are believed to have been the target of the LTTE’s symbolic attack.

Tiger aircraft rockets Palaly base, curfew in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Friday, 11 August 2006, 15:53 GMT]
At least one unidentified aircraft flew over the Sri Lankan military base at Palaly firing rockets at around 9.30 p.m. Friday, sources in Jaffna town said. Sri Lanka Army (SLA) artillery fire being directed from the base stopped after the attack, the sources said. Meanwhile a curfew has been clamped on Jaffna town. The LTTE has vowed to repel the SLA offensive on the Elephant Pass area.

Military Spokesperson of the Tigers, Mr. Irasaiah Ilanthirayan (Marshall)

“We will use our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines in an all out defensive measure to protect our people and homeland,” Mr. Irasaiah Ilanthirayan, the military spokesman of the Tigers told TamilNet when contacted to comment on the reports of aerial attack on Palaly military base.

Sri Lankan artillery elsewhere kept up their shelling towards LTTE controlled southern Jaffna from there large numbers of people are fleeing into Kilinochchi district.

The A9 road in LTTE controlled areas along which civilians were attempting to move was being targeted by SLA shelling, sources said.

The LTTE’s official radio, Voice of Tigers (VoT), meanwhile urged civilians living close to SLA positions in Thenmaradchchi to move away. The radio warned that LTTE artillery fire responding to the SLA offensive would target camps there.

The Tiger radio urged civilians to stay 1 km away from Eluthumadduval, Pulo-pallai, Kilali, Kodikamam, Kachchai and Varani in particular.

Meanwhile, the Superintendent of Police in Jaffna, Erik Perera, imposed an indefinite curfew from 7:00 p.m. Friday in Jaffna.

Palali raid

On April 23, the Air Tigers conducted its bombs on a nearby military bunker, killing six soldiers.[citation needed]
Colombo raids

On April 26, Sri Lanka’s air defenses in Colombo fired into the sky following reports that unidentified aircraft had been spotted on radar. No attack was reported.[10]

However, a few days later on the early morning of April 29, while the nation was watching the Cricket World Cup Final, a Tiger aircraft bombed two fuel storage facilities outside Colombo. Chaos followed and electricity in the capital was shut off for nearly an hour. There were no casualties and minimal damage. The security forces were unable to bring down the aircraft prompting much criticism from the public and opposition political parties.[11]

Although the government played down the attack, Shell’s Sri Lankan country director, Hassan Madan told the AFP “There was big damage to our fire-fighting facility and we estimate it will cost us in excess of 75m rupees ($700,000) to put things back” [2]

Tiger aircrafts bomb Palaali military base

[TamilNet, Monday, 23 April 2007, 22:09 GMT]
Two attack aircraft of the Liberation Tigers bombed the Sri Lankan military’s main base complex in the Jaffna peninsula in the early hours of Tuesday morning, inflicting heavy damage and casualties, LTTE military spokesman Irasiah Ilanthirayan told TamilNet. Tamileelam Air Force bombers had hit an Engineering Unit of the complex and a military storage, the Tigers spokesman claimed. Meanwhile sources said continuous explosions were heard from inside the High Security Zone for five hours after the air raid. Military sources in Colombo confirmed that at least 6 of their personnel were killed. Informed military sources said more than 30 troopers were wounded the attack inside the HSZ.

LTTE leader Mr. V. Pirapaharan with Tamileelam Air Force (TAF) members, before their mission to Palaali [Photo: LTTE]
The two Tamileealm Air Force (TAF) aircraft struck at 1.20 am and returned to their base in LTTE controlled Vanni, Mr. Ilanthirayan told TamilNet.

The air attack inflicted severe casualties amongst Sri Lankan security forces personnel at the base complex, Mr. Ilanthirayan added.

In Colombo, residents along Ratmala-Colombo Road witnessed more than fifty trips of various ambulances shutlling between the military hospital in Colombo and the military airport in Ratmalana.

6 seriously injured soldiers were transferred to Colombo hospital from the military hospital.

Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) spokesman Group. Cap. Ajantha Silva told media in Colombo that their runway in Palaali was intact.

Power supply was shut down for more than 3 hours in Jaffna after the air raid, civilian sources said.

Cellphone links to the northern peninsula was also cut off following the air attack.

According to sources in Jaffna, clashes were also reported along the forward defence lines separating LTTE and GoSL-controlled parts of the Jaffna peninsula.

Sri Lanka Army (SLA) artillery based in Palali fired artillery shells towards LTTE controlled territory, continuing a bombardment that has been ongoing for several days.

The air strike on the Palali base complex, the second claimed by the Tigers, comes a month after the two TAF planes attacked the military airbase at Katunayake causing severe damage to the Sri Lankan Air Force’s primary installation in the island.

.Anuradhapura attack
Main article: Raid on Anuradhapura Air Force Base

On October 22, 2007, Air Tiger’s launched a pre-dawn combined arms assault on a SLAF airbase at Anuradhapura, about 212 kilometers (132 mi) north of the capital, Colombo.

The assault started at around 3:20 am,[12] with LTTE ground forces attacking the airbase and overrunning key positions, including an anti-aircraft position, before the Air Tiger’s ultra lights dropped bombs on government positions. A total of 14 Sri Lankan Air Force personnel and 20 Tigers were killed.

Tigers launch air, ground attack on Anuradhapura air base

[TamilNet, Sunday, 21 October 2007, 23:47 GMT]
Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE) launched an air and ground attack on Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) air base at Saliyapura in Anuradhapura in the early hours of Monday, Liberation Tigers Military Spokesman Irasiah Ilanthirayan told TamilNet. Meanwhile, military sources in Colombo said two Russian built MI-24 helicopter gunships have been destroyed in the attack launched between 3:00 and 5:00 a.m. A pilot, his co-pilot and two engineers who took off from the air base, were killed when their Bell 212 helicopter crashed at Doramadalawa, 13 km east of Anuradhapura, in Mihintale area. An indefinite curfew has been clamped in Anuradhapura. Residents have been asked to stay indoors.
This is the first time the Tigers have combined both air and ground attack in a raid.

Continuous explosions were heard inside the airbase from 3:30 a.m. according to Sinhala civilians in the area. The attack was continuing, after 5:00 a.m.

14 wounded Sri Lankan military personnel have been admitted at the Anuradhapura hospital, according to medical sources.

The military base in Anuradhapura is the largest military installation in the military supply route between Colombo and Vavunniyaa. It is situated in the North Central Province, 46 km south of Vavuniyaa and 168 km northeast of Colombo.

Sri Lankan police urged all residents to stay indoors as the Sri Lankan military prepared to launch a search operation in the area after imposing an indefinite curfew in Anuradhapura District Secretariat division.

Meanwhile, a SLAF reconnaissance aircraft was observed circling over K’linochchi. Three Kfir fighter jets of the SLAF were also flown over Vanni around 5:00 a.m.

Weli Oya Attack

On April 27, 2008, at approximately 1.45am, a least two Air Tiger aircraft dropped three bombs on military installations near the army forward defense lines in Weli Oya. No damage was caused.[13]

Government Defense Authorities claimed that they had sent Air Force interceptors to engage the Tiger aircraft, but they were unable to do so as it had already flown back before they reached the area.[14]

Strike on Trincomalee harbour

The Sri Lanka Navy confirmed that at least one LTTE plane dropped bombs on the naval base at Trincomalee on August 26, 2008. At least four SLN sailors were killed and more than 35 wounded in the air strike, which inflicted heavy damage on the SLN base, according to the LTTE. The aircraft safely returned to their base after carrying out their mission.[15]

Vavuniya attack

On September 9, 2008, during heavy fighting in the north, an Air Tigers aircraft dropped bombs at a military base in Vavuniya, in northern Sri Lanka. Simultaneously, an LTTE attack on the military base was launched, intended to destroy the India-provided INDRA-II Radar that the Sri Lankan government was using to detect the LTTE planes. Eleven soldiers and a policemen were killed along with eleven Tigers; two Indian technicians were wounded.[16]

After the raid, the military claimed a Sri Lankan air force plane shot down the LTTE craft, but the LTTE denied it; no proof from either side was given.[17]

LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, on October 31, conferred Awards of Valour for the Tiger commandos who excelled in their performance in the operation against the Vanni Headquarters, as well as on the Tiger pilots and operators who took part in consecutive and successful attacks against targets in the south and the bases of the Sri Lankan military. The Air Tiger pilots who had participated in three consecutive successful air attacks received the Warriors Award of Tamil Eelam (Thamizheezha Ma’ravar Viruthu), while Kiddu artillery formation received special awards for their performance in this specific attack

Indian radar operators wounded in Vanni SF HQ

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 09 September 2008, 06:16 GMT]
Two Indian radar operators working for Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) sustained injuries in the attack carried out by the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE) on Sri Lankan forces Vanni Headquarters located in Vavuniyaa. SLA sources in Vavuniyaa said 26 military personnel were wounded in the mission.

The wounded Indian radar operators were airlifted to Colombo for further treatment, according to a reliable military source that confirmed Indian involvement in operating INDRA radar system that monitored the coastal areas of the North East.

One of the wounded Indian radar operator was later airlifted to India from Colombo.

Meanwhile, a political source in Colombo alleged that there were also a few Indian Air Force personnel at the Sri Lankan Vanni SF HQ. The source further alleged that there were also military experts from another country outside South Asia, who used to train the Sri Lanka Army Special Forces (SF) at Vanni headquarters. This is yet to be verified by the military sources.

Mannar and Colombo strikes

Tiger aircraft struck again on October 28. One air raid happened at the Thaladi army camp in Mannar, and another occurred against the Kelanitissa near the capital, Colombo. The Sri Lankan government said there had been no major damage at either location, but that two of the turbines hit at the power plant would take six months to renovate.

Vanni SF HQ attacked

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 09 September 2008, 00:53 GMT]
The joint headquarters of the Sri Lankan forces in Vanni, situated in Vavuniyaa town, came under attack for more than 2 hours by the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE) in the early hours of Tuesday. According to the casualty figures released by the Sri Lankan military sources, 9 Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers, 2 Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) personnel and 1 policemen were killed and 26 wounded. At least 10 LTTE Black Tiger commandos had infiltrated into the Vanni headquarters of the SL forces, causing destruction to the military facilities. LTTE’s aircrafts bombed the SF HQ of Vanni around 2:30 a.m., before the Black Tigers launched the attack. Vavuniyaa town is at standstill.

There were at least 11 explosions that rocked the town and heavy exchange of gunfire was reported till 5:00 a.m.

The Sri Lankan military officials in Colombo claimed that their forces counter-attacked the Tiger aircrafts, but their was no indication of any aircraft coming down, according to civilian sources.

The explosions were also caused by Tiger artillery that targeted the Sri Lankan headquarters, after the Tiger air mission, the sources further added.

One civilian, a girl, was wounded and rushed to hospital, medical sources in the town said.

In the meantime, Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) bombers and surveillance aircrafts, stepped up flying missions over Ki’linochchi and Mullaiththeevu districts from 4:00 a.m., and attacked two localities.

The first air attack by the SLAF was reported in Puthukkudiyiruppu, three times, between 4:20 and 5:10 a.m. The attack has taken place in densely populated area and the premises of a school, Puthukkudiyiruppu Subramaniya Viththiyaalayam, was among the target, according to initial reports from Puthukkudiyiruppu. A 50-year-old woman, identified as Ms. Sulojana, was wounded. Shops in the town have also sustained damage in the SLAF attack.

At 6:40 a.m., a locality in Poonakari (Pooneryn) was bombed by the SLAF bombers. Casualty details were not available.

Tigers launch airstrike in Mannaar, Colombo

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 October 2008, 18:55 GMT]
Sri Lankan military officials in Colombo said that the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE) carried out an air attack on Tha’l’laadi military base, the main artillery and Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) launchpad of the Sri Lanka Army in Mannaar Tuesday around 10:30 p.m., dropping three bombs on the base. The Tiger aircrafts then proceeded to Colombo and dropped two bombs on Kelanitissa power station, while Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) bombers were searching for LTTE aircrafts in skys over Ki’linochchi between 11:00 and 11:30 a.m. Latest reports from Vanni said the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) aircrafts were flying over the suburbs of Mullaiththeevu and Puthukkudiyiruppu with para lights focused on the ground from 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

A SLAF reconnaissance aircraft was continuously circling over Vanni from 11:00 p.m. Tuesday. Immediately after the Tiger air raid on Tha’l’laadi garrison the SLAF fighters were circulating over the suburbs of Ki’linochchi, Ira’naimadu, Visuvamadu and Murasumoaddai areas between 11:00 and 11:30 p.m.

The SLAF aircrafts were using para lights in their search mission over Vanni.

Civilian sources said the Tiger aircrafts flew back to Vanni over Mannaar. Sri Lankan military officials said their air defence system was activated and that the damage was minimal.

Air Tigers attack 2 targets in Colombo – LTTE

[TamilNet, Saturday, 28 April 2007, 22:33 GMT]
Two oil storages that supply fuel to Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) bombers were attacked by the Tamileelam Air Force, Tiger Military Spokesman Irasiah Ilanthirayan told TamilNet. Oil and fuel storages in Kolonnawa and Muththuraajawala were attacked by the TAF at 1:50 a.m. Sunday and at 2:05 a.m. after Sri Lanka Air Force bombers attacked a suburb of Kilinochchi town in Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam administered territory, Mr. Ilanthirayan said adding that the Tiger bombers had safely returned to their airbase in Vanni.

Suicide Air Raid on Colombo
Main article: 2009 suicide air raid on Colombo

On February 20, 2009 the LTTE launched a Kamikaze style attack aimed at SLAF Colombo – the Sri Lankan Air Force Headquarters on Sir Chittampalam Gardiner Street – and the SLAF hangars at SLAF Katunayake adjoining the International Airport in Katunayake. Both of the planes were shot down with one of the planes crashing into the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) opposite the Sri Lankan Air Force Headquarters, starting a fire which resulted in the building sustaining minor damage. The Trans Asia Hotel, which is adjacent, was also damaged though slightly.[22] The Air Force claimed that a plane crashed into the IRD building when the pilot lost control due to anti-aircraft fire. The second aircraft was shot down by anti-aircraft fire close to Bandaranaike International Airport; much of the plane was found intact with the body of the pilot and explosives inside. Two persons (two pilots) were killed and 58 were injured including two airmen of the SLAF.

LTTE: Black Air Tiger attack on Colombo’s Air Force HQ, Air Base

[TamilNet, Friday, 20 February 2009, 22:55 GMT]
The LTTE Friday claimed two aircraft of Black Air Tiger mission diving into Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) Headquarters in Colombo and into the SLAF base at Katunayaka, carrying out successful air raids. The Tigers also released photograph of the two Black Air Tigers, Col. Roopan and Lt. Col. Siriththiran with LTTE leader Velupillai Pirapaharan before embarking on their mission.

Both the Tamileelam Air Force (TAF) pilots have earlier been decorated with Blue Tiger award for having carried out successful air raids on enemy targets, according to a news release issued by the LTTE.

Demise

In their military offensive in the north of the country the Sri Lanka Armed Forces have reported the capture of seven airfields used by the Tigers. Of these, three have been used as emergency landing strips, while two had been a frequently-used airfield with two hangars. On February 20, 2009 the government’s predictions were proved wrong when two LTTE aircraft attacked the capital.[23] The LTTE lost both of the Zlín Z 43 aircraft and two Air Tiger pilots during the attack. According to military analysts, there are no aircraft left in the Air Tiger fleet, although the LTTE have claimed that they have three aircraft remaining. On May 18, 2009, The Sri Lankan army defeated the LTTE and regained control over the entire island. Several missions were carried out by the Sri Lanka Army soldiers and none of the three aircraft which the tigers claimed to have kept were found.

The Sri Lanka Air Force has stated that its has plans to develop the two captured LTTE air fields in Iranamadu and Mullaittivu into operational SLAF air bases.

From Wikipedia, Tamilnet

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29.10.08   Turbines damaged in TAF airstrike on power plant, one killed
28.10.08   Tigers launch airstrike in Mannaar, Colombo
09.09.08   Indian radar operators wounded in Vanni SF HQ
09.09.08   Vanni SF HQ attacked
27.08.08   Airstrike targeted SLN Eastern HQ – LTTE
01.11.07   Pirapaharan decorates LTTE heroes of Anuradhapura
27.10.07   Did LTTE plane down SLAF helicopter?
27.10.07   Anuradhapura losses worse than Katunayake’s – Athas
23.10.07   Key spy plane amongst SLAF’s $40m losses – reports
22.10.07   Tigers claim Anuradhapura air base attack success, say 8 air..
21.10.07   Tigers launch air, ground attack on Anuradhapura air base
02.05.07   Tiger planes hit Sri Lanka economy
28.04.07   Air Tigers attack 2 targets in Colombo – LTTE
24.04.07   Barrage of gunfire as Tiger aircrafts complete bombing raid,..
23.04.07   Tiger aircrafts bomb Palaali military base
26.03.07   LTTE releases photographs of air mission
11.08.06   Tiger aircraft rockets Palaly base, curfew in Jaffna
27.11.98   Tigers confirm Air wing

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Related Articles:
11.08.06   Tiger aircraft rockets Palaly base, curfew in Jaffna
30.05.05   Coercive Airpower in the Eelam Conflict- Taraki
28.11.98   Tiger Air Wing participates in celebrations – VoT
27.11.98   Tigers confirm Air wing

External Links:

IPCS: Tigers with Wings – Air Power of the LTTE
BBC: Row over Tamil Tigers’ airstrip
ST: CBK’s second tsunami, Runway at Iranaimadu
Rediff: Beware of LTTE ‘air assets’: Truce monitors
Hindu: “LTTE’s air assets a threat to Sri Lanka”
SAAG: Article on LTTE air force

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