Sri Lanka Navy, having embarked on a continuous voyage of victory whilst performing a multitude of functions, is fully committed to defend the pride of the nation. The time has dawned to uproot the scourge of terrorism and pave the way towards a congenial and comfortable life pattern for all Sri Lankans. At such a time, Sri Lanka Navy, showing ingenuity of a nation, has stepped into novel inventions to prove its mettle in the battlefront. As one of its landmarks in its quest for victory, the Navy has begun to build small fast attack craft of its own.
Sri Lanka Navy, with a proud history spanning over fifty years, was confined to its traditional naval duties at the beginning. However, with the outbreak of the brutal war in the 1980s, the Navy began to implement its timely strategies to meet the needs of the hour. Consequently, Sri Lanka Navy, in order to retain its sea dominance, was thrust into naval confrontations at sea by the terrorists.
The main task of the Sri Lanka Navy in this backdrop, was to thwart the ever increasing LTTE activities at sea. It is an open secret that the LTTE engage in terrorists activities under the guise of fishermen; they began to transform fishing boats into attack craft. Consequently, the LTTE terrorists, using these boats on suicide missions, abortively attempted to wield its terror in the Northern and Eastern seas. With the experience gained through its confrontations with the LTTE, the Navy began to do away with its traditional maritime warfare tactics and started to employ novel strategies to face the LTTE threat at sea. Moreover, the Navy identified that the LTTE's war strategies were two-pronged; they posed a threat to the Inshore Patrol Craft in shallow waters while they engaged in transporting their weaponry increasingly in the deep seas using big vessels. This was amply reflected by the destruction of the LTTE’s big vessels which were engaged in illegal smuggling of arms in the years 2006 and 2007. Although the Navy was able to eradicate terrorists’ arms smuggling activities, it kept on seeking a successful solution to confront the threat posed by the terrorists who were using small boats to attack the Inshore Patrol Craft. As a consequence, the Navy, over the past few years, kept on using novel strategies in naval operations by introducing the small craft concept, giving naval personnel relevant special training and acquiring modern weaponry.
With the introduction of the small craft concept, the Navy has been able to achieve a number of victories as a result of its speed which enables hot pursuits, its greater maneuverability due to the smallness of the craft and its destructive power through the use of modern weaponry fitted on board. The Navy’s successful stride forward was further fortified by being brought to the notice of superior officers who encouraged their efforts.
Sri Lanka possesses a proud history of producing modern craft. According to the Devanagala stone inscription, the military commander of the Kith Nuwaragala received orders to invade Burma with sailors on board a fleet of a thousand ships. Those ships were not imported from other countries but were manufactured with the sweat of our great forefathers. Rejuvenating the history, the Navy has begun to manufacture small fast attack craft to meet its own requirements because of the heavy capital expenditure involved in its importation and the non-availability of such craft according to its specific needs in the open market. After the lapse of nine centuries, setting the inaugural step in the process of manufacturing a small craft of this nature, the Navy unveiled its first ever small fast attack craft in the latter part of the year 2006. Armed with this small fast attack craft with modern weaponry on board, the Special Boat Squadron (SBS) and the Rapid Action Boat Squadron (RABS) are today fully engaged in safeguarding the territorial integrity of the motherland. Without stopping there, naval engineers, setting forth another novel stride forward, have been able to fortify naval troops by producing an inshore patrol craft capable of operating in shallow waters. We believe that they deserve the Nation’s salute for being able to produce such a craft locally, spending a nominal expenditure as against its high cost in the open market.
Undoubtedly, this will provide a better foundation for the Navy to produce ships on a large scale using its experience and skills. Bearing proof to the Navy’s decision, the Rapid Action Boat Squadron raided the Iranativu Island displaying their heroic battle skills to the maximum. During a short span of two years, the Navy has been able to produce hundred small fast attack craft. Sri Lanka Navy celebrates this proud moment as a decisive milestone in their battle history.