Thursday, September 18, 2008
The SLN's Rapid Action Boat Squadron, manned by three men each provided much of the firepower while the Special Boat Squadron engaged in strategic maneuvers against the cluster of LTTE boats. This is the third successive joint operation launched by the SBS and the RABS in recent times.
The RABS boats are an improvement of the fiberglass boats manufactured by the SLN, which was further developed after the Tsunami. The new boats are similar in maneuverability to LTTE Sea Tiger boats with a light hull and outboard engines. The boats can fight close to the shoreline and in shallow waters in the northwestern coast. Standard infantry weapons such as MPMGs and LMGs are used for enhanced firepower.
Their development is due to the realization that the heavier Dvora FACs were no match for small, fast moving and lightly crewed boats of the Tigers in shallower seas. The Special Boat Squadron deployed in Combat Rubber Reconnaissance Craft (CRRCs) suffered heavy casualties against faster LTTE vessels upon detection in the past (i.e. Mannar 2006).
The fast moving RABS seems to have complemented SBS operations giving an extra layer of protection and cover to the elite sailors. So far the joint performance of SBS and RABS has been admirable, specially against small and medium sized boats and will become a tremendous asset to ground forces in combating infiltrations, logistical movements etc of the Tigers through recce and detection, close inspections and rapid engagement.
Posted by Defencewire at 9:05 PM
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