Sri Lankan Air Force at war

Sri Lanka’s Air Force has been waging a war against guerilla forces for more than a decade – Alan Warnes takes a look at the current situation.

IN 1983 THE separatist guerilla group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) declared that the northern and eastern provinces of Sri Lanka were to become a Tamil homeland. Not surprisingly, the government in the south was unimpressed and has been trying to suppress the Tamil Tigers ever since.

To combat the arms flow between the northern and southern regions the Sri Lankan Army has drawn up a Forward Defence Line (FDL). This

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SR-71 Operations

Between March 1968 and November 1989, Lockheed SR-71s conducted a total of 3,551 operational missions. The highly classified nature of these tri-sonic recce flights ensured that all but a handful ever became public knowledge. Four years after General Larry Welch prematurely retired the SR-71 fleet, Paul Crickmore has completed the first comprehensive book detailing many of the programme’s more significant missions. It is published by Osprey and entitled SR-71 The Secret Missions Exposed – the following article is a series of some summarised extracts.

BETWEEN 1957 and 1959, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) established a think-tank to define the type

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Sri Lankas Air War

Alan Warnes returned to Sri Lanka during March to see how the SLAF is faring.

THE BLOODY CONFLICT in Sri Lanka continues (see Sri Lanka’s Unique Air Force, July 96, p47-55). It does not make the national papers regularly because the government restricts the passage of journalists, but it still rages on. Battles between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) — whose leader Vellupilli Prabhakaran is also wanted in India for the alleged LTTE slaying of Premier Rajiv Gandhi in 1989 — and government troops are seemingly a daily occurrence. Only last August, the Army camp at Mallaittivu (see

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Something for Everyone!

Alan Warnes visited this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo and gives an overview of events.

DURING A summer that brought both torrential downpours and glorious sunshine, the weekend of July 16-17 was blessed with blue skies and warm weather for the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT). Having seen the weather forecast, most families must have decided to make the trek to RAF Fairford. Gloucestershire, on the first day of the weekend, preferring to relax elsewhere on Sunday. That must be the assumption if we take into account the startling difference in the number of people at Fairford on the two

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Soap direct

It’s a brave farmer who ousts i I the prize rams from the house I paddock and confines them to an m out-of-sight field at the back of the property. It’s more courageous still to take over a husband’s workshop.

But Jude McNab, who has done all this and more, isn’t lacking when it comes to courage, and that’s probably why her business venture into the world of cottage industry soap-making is taking off at such a pace.

Nestled on a lifestyle block in the picturesque Gwaka Valley, deep in the remote Gatlins region of coastal south-east Otago, Jude has

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Manufacturer: Seiko Watch Corporation, 8-10, Toranomon 2-Chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-8467, Japan

Reference number: SrQ003J1

Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds; chronograph with counters for 12 elapsed hours and 30 elapsed minutes; date display; stop-seconds function

Movement: Manufacture Caliber 8R28, automatic, chronograph; 28,800 vph; 34 jewels; fine adjustment via index; Diashock shock absorption; bidirectional winding; 45-hour power reserve; diameter = 28 mm, height = 7.2 mm

Case: Stainless steel, flanks coated with titanium carbide; flat sapphire crystal is nonreflective on its inner surface; case-back with sapphire viewing window held in place by six screws; water resistant to 100 meters

Bracelet and


Seeing is believing

Whereas the First World War at sea is best remembered for the actions of the larger warships, a large proportion of the everyday duties of the Royal Navy was performed by smaller motor launches. An example of this is the actions of ML 357 which attacked three German submarines in the final months of 1917. These attacks formed the contents of a letter, revealed by Rick Mayall, which was written by the commander of the motor launch in January 1918.

On 9 April 1915, the British Admiralty placed an order througn Canadian Vickers for fifty anti-submarine boats to be built

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Secret Weapons

This issue, we’re having a virtual delve into photographers’ kit bags to uncover their ‘secret weapons’. These can be anything from a simple lens filter or teleconverter, right up to a complex lighting set up — but the idea is that they provide a failsafe means of getting the job done.

In some cases, they might even provide a unique selling point or a signature look and feel, making the shots more saleable, while helping the photographer, and their clients, to stand apart.

In addition, we discover what successful freelances classify as the key tools in their creative arsenal, which

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Scottish TLP

IN JANUARY 1978, the Allied Air Forces Central Europe (AAFCE) staged its first Tactical Leadership Programme (HP) course at Fiirstenfeldbruck AB, Germany, after Air Force leaders recognised a need to improve their pilots’ leadership skills in multi-national air operations. Responding to that requirement, six nations — Belgium, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and the United States — signed a Memorandum of Understanding to participate in the programme.

Bidding for Slots

A course schedule for the following year is formulated at a meeting between all potential participants from MOU and non-MOU nations every August. Each nation bids for slots on

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September 1985. The State of Emergency raged on across

South African townships, schooling was disrupted, government property assaulted by both protest graffiti and flames.

There were hushed conversations among grown-ups, conspiratorial almost, on how Tembisa Township was a dangerous place for young, impressionable minds. For my brothers and I who, for eight years of our lives, had been creatures of the city. City lights. City ambience. City food. A metropolitan existence.

The hushed conversations yielded an unforeseen «cultural» shock — a Great Trek to the bundus. to my grandparents’ headquarters in the Hill of Mice, a small village northeast of


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