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Sri Lanka to buy defence equipment from Pakistan

In order to equip itself to fight the LTTE, Sri Lanka places orders worth up to $100 million from Pakistan for ammo.

india Updated: Dec 31, 2006 11:12 IST

In order to equip itself to fight the LTTE, Sri Lanka has placed orders worth up to $100 million from Pakistan for tanks, their ammunition, different kinds of bombs and explosives, fuses, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and armoured vehicles, reports said.

Premier journal Jane's Defence Weekly and media reports have confirmed that the arms deal size could go up to $200 million in the next 18 months.

Major Colombo newspaper 'Island' earlier reported that the Sri Lankan forces needed two UAVs, cluster and fuel air bombs, laser-precision and guided bomb kits, deep penetration bombs, 80MM rockets with fuel explosive warheads, Bakhtar-Shiken anti-tank guided missile launcher, Tandem warhead missiles, radios, mortars and night vision goggles.

The island nation was looking at Pakistan "to significantly strengthen its military capabilities amid the increasing prospect of renewed civil war," Jane's said.

As much of these purchases are already in pipeline, reports here suggested a major defence scandal with sources alleging that Pakistan was not only acquiring much of these supplies from Ukraine but also "bribing" Sri Lankan officials.

The reports claimed that crucial components like fuses and certain types of bombs were found to be faulty by the Sri Lankan forces and Pakistan had agreed to take them back.

Regarding the alleged kickbacks, these reports said a major chunk of the sleaze money actually went back to Pakistan.

First Published: Dec 31, 2006 06:22 IST