Sri Lankan UAV comes down in Vanni

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 19 October 2005, 10:01 GMT]
An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) launched from the Joseph camp in Vavuniya for surveillance mission into the Liberation Tigers controlled area has come down in Vanni Wednesday afternoon, sources in Kilinochchi said. A UAV was seen coming down in Vignanikulam between 9th Mile and Karappukuththi, around 20 km northeast of Omanthai, according to civilian sources in Vanni. Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) sources in Colombo also confirmed that an UAV was missing.

The Liberation Tigers have on many occasions lodged complaints through their Peace Secretariat to Colombo that the surveillance activities violated the Cease Fire Agreement, sources in Kilinochchi told TamilNet.

The SLAF used up to half a dozen Israeli built drones extensively during major military offensives in the Vanni region in the late ninties. Almost all were lost either through LTTE ground fire or accidents, Sri Lankan press reports said at the time. Built by Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAI), the planes were said to cost half a million dollars each.

Drones - also called Remotely Piloted Vehicles (RPV) - are controlled from the ground from a command room with television sets. The aircrafts carry onboard computers and cameras and transmit high resolution pictures back to the command room.

 

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