Murphy's Law: It's A Jungle Down There


March 3, 2009: Two years ago, the LTTE rebels in Sri Lanka began using 3-4 single engine aircraft (Czech Zlin-143s) as improvised bombers. These attacks did little damage, but were embarrassing to the government. So Indian INDRA-II radars were purchased in 2008, to detect the low flying (under 300 meters) LTTE aircraft. While these radars worked, there turned out to be another problem. The jet fighters of the Sri Lankan air force had a hard time spotting the LTTE aircraft. The radars on the jets were not up to the task, and the pilots had a very difficult time detecting the slow moving propeller driven air, flying so close to the ground at night. Moreover, the LTTE aircraft were often gone by the time the jets arrived on the scene. The Sri Lankans then linked their anti-aircraft gun units more closely with the radar operators, giving the gunners a better chance of detecting and hitting the aircraft. Two of the LTTE aircraft were finally destroyed in 2009, when they launched a suicide attack on the capital. One aircraft was brought down by anti-aircraft guns, while the other was hit, apparently causing it to miss its intended target, as it crashed into another building.



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