Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Kapila Waidyaratne said the present threats and the geo-strategic importance of Sri Lanka has warranted the establishment of a Naval Air Force Wing to secure our waters with greater surveillance and striking capabilities.
Mr. Waidyaratne who delivered the key note address at the Colombo Air Symposium said on Thursday, Sri Lankan armed forces have been supplied with a number of naval crafts with high facilities.â€It is also under the same rationale that a Joint Naval Command with the Air Force has been recommended along with a Joint Communications Network that would seek to build air and maritime capabilities, the secretary said.
He said such a network would work hand in hand with the Air Forceâ€™s Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance systems that will be modernized to better improve maritime domain awareness.â€This would also lead to a better centralised command, control and intelligence structure to develop enhanced situational awareness.,â€ Mr. Waidyaratne said.
He said air assets remained a prime choice when responding to security threats, due to its inherent advantages of height, speed and reach. â€œIt has become the number one choice to call upon by many governments. As seen during our conflict and natural disasters, the first response were from our air assets. It is under this rationale that we wish to develop our air capabilities both in traditional and non-traditional spheres,â€™ the secretary further added.
Sri Lanka Air Forceâ€™s 3rd key annual international defence conference, ‘The Colombo Air Symposium – 2017’ on wednesday commenced at the Eagles Lakeside Banquet and Convention Hall.
Chief of Defence Staff, Tri Forces Commanders, IGP, retired senior Air Force Officers, senior state officials, members of the diplomatic corps graced the occasion. This year, 250 invitees including 24 international participants from 17 countries are taking part in the event.
Air Force Commander KapilaJayampathy said the shifting paradigms of modern security threats will be the focus of the forum and the main theme “Addressing Asymmetric Threats” will be profoundly examined through 12 research papers under six sessions.
The Commander said that Air Symposium is the prominent international event that brings together global expertise on air-power to a common platform that discusses national, regional and global issues of the future marked by common security threats both man-made and natural.