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Sri Lanka to establish a small arms manufacturing facility with Indian assistance

By: Staff Writer

May 16, Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka is planning to establish a small arms manufacturing facility and is in discussions with India regarding this initiative, according to Sri Lankan State Minister of Defence Premitha Bandara Tennakoon.

He mentioned that while the Sri Lankan military possesses expertise in weapons manufacturing, the current scale of production does not meet their expectations.

The Sri Lankan Armed Forces primarily use the Type 56 (T56) assault rifle, which fires 7.62×39 mm cartridges, along with various pistols that use 9 mm cartridges.

The Ministry of Defence has already announced plans to reduce the size of the Sri Lanka Army, the largest component of the defence forces, to approximately 100,000 personnel by 2030.

He mentioned that while the Sri Lankan military possesses expertise in weapons manufacturing, the current scale of production does not meet their expectations.

“So we are in touch with our Indian counterparts. And so there’s so much that we can take and learn from India. And with a little help, we also can do wonders here. So those discussions are ongoing at the moment he added

Speaking at the Presidential Media Centre under the theme “Collective Path to a Stable Country”, Tennakoon detailed Sri Lanka’s involvement in a presentation by Indian weapons manufacturers on 10 April, where he served as the chief guest.

Tennakoon clarified that Sri Lanka is not currently aiming to make any purchases, noting that such presentations are routine annual events.

“Connectivity is really good, and military-to-military connectivity. Indian and Sri Lankan military-to-military connectivity is at a high. So we maintain that. So that doesn’t mean that we are going to buy anything from anyone”, the state minister explained.

He  also praised the growth of India’s defence manufacturing sector over the past two decades, suggesting that Sri Lanka could benefit from adopting a similar model.

“We can take a lot from the Indian model. So there’s nothing wrong with learning from them. And I think we also should get into the manufacturing”, he noted.

What you have to understand is the Indian defence manufacturing arm has boomed during the last two decades. 

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