View Full Version : Stealth boats, mini subs of the LTTE(with janes video)

13 Oct 06,, 01:11
Here is some info about the LTTE stealth boats that have been used for covert insertions/extractions and attacks on the srilankan navy with deadly effect.the below article is from "jane's" with exclusive video of the boats being tested

a video of tiger stealth boats
the video is from the janes defence weekly
some of those boats looks like a copy of the F117!
and sit very low on the water. during a recent clash with the srilankan navy, one of those stealth boats were recorded to be doing 50 knots!.

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.krcf.org/krcfhome/kleinPrae/praes/STEALTH/webTamil_600_gr.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.krcf.org/krcfhome/kleinPrae/praes/stealth2.htm&h=477&w=600&sz=180&hl=en&start=104&tbnid=htL-TaTwiXBWHM:&tbnh=107&tbnw=135&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dtamil%2Btigers%26start%3D90%26ndsp%3D 18%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26safe%3Doff%26s a%3DN

Sea Tigers, stealth technology and the North Korean connection

By Roger Davies

On 23 October 2000 the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) attacked and sank a Sri Lanka Navy operated passenger vessel in Trincomalee harbour. A video of the operation, analysed by Jane's Intelligence Review, reveals the use of stealth technologies in LTTE boat design and the procurement of weapons from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

In the video, LTTE Sea Tigers can be seen using a variant of the 107mm Katyusha rocket, fired from a lightweight tripod, in pairs. This is believed to be a variant of the Chinese Type 63 107mm launcher. The Chinese produce a single tube version called a Type 85 fired from a man-portable tripod, but the North Koreans produce a double version. This is quite a rare weapon. The missile weighs about 18kg and has a range of about 8km.

In the engagement the Sea Tiger Strike Group appears to be firing at the naval base some 2-3km away. Fifteen rounds are seen being fired in the video, but the video is not continuous so there were possibly more. These weapons are ideal for insurgent terrorist campaigns, such as the LTTE's in Sri Lanka, and provide the terrorists with a form of artillery support that can be transported, hidden and easily used. The rockets are fired electrically from a few yards distance by simply connecting up a battery.

Also shown on the video are a number of 60mm mortars. Like the 107mm rockets these mortars can be broken down and carried relatively easily. It is not clear from the video if the mortars are of North Korean origin, but it would be no surprise if they were. One of the crews serving the two mortars in the video appears to be fairly professional, keeping up a high rate of fire despite incoming fire to their exposed position. The other crew appear less well trained.

The video also shows eight distinctively different 'stealth speedboats'. Without a hands-on technical inspection it is difficult to judge the efficacy of the stealth design, but the basic principles of stealth are adhered to in many respects. There also appears to be some steel plate armour on some of the boats.

The speedboats are powered by Johnson 200, or similar Yamaha, engines and are likely to be able to maintain a top speed of over 35kt in calm water. Each appears to be crewed by two Black Tiger suicide crew. The explosive content (apart from 122mm artillery shells stuck to the side deck of two of the boats) is not seen. The origins of the 'stealth' craft are the subject of much debate, and there are two schools of thought among intelligence analysts.

Some analysts believe the design and construction to be indigenous to Sri Lanka. They point out that the video shows several designs and that the Tamil population are by tradition expert boat builders. Furthermore the Sea Tigers have utilised speedboats as suicide weapons over the past few years. The frame on the front of the boat is described as holding spikes that fasten the boat to its target once they have collided.

The other view argues that the craft were primarily designed as 'stealth speedboats' and that the 'suicide' elements such as explosives have been added later. On two variants, 122mm artillery shells have been fixed to the side of the boat, limiting the effectiveness of the anti-radar design. The unusual frame on the front also detracts from the crafts' otherwise stealthy nature. Furthermore, the wiring for both the frame and the shells leads over the gunwale of the boats and has not been threaded through the body of the craft.

There are also different opinions about the objects on the frame. Are they spikes to fix the boat to its target when ramming or are they some form of initiation system that sets off the explosive on contact with the target? Some of the objects appear to be hollow tubes so the frame could be a weapon of some kind.

A further indication that the boats were not originally designed for suicide missions is a shot of cut-away parts of one boat's cockpit that are seen lying on the jungle floor.

Could the Tamil Tigers have obtained the boats from the same source as they got their 107mm rockets? North Korea has certainly shown interest in designing fast, stealthy craft for infiltrating South Korea and two years ago was reportedly approached by the LTTE for a multi-million dollar arms deal.

Not shown on the video were any surface-to-air (SAM) missiles. However, reports have indicated that a Sri Lankan Air Force Mi-24 'Hind' helicopter was shot down during this attack. Another Mi-24 had been shot down with a SAM the previous week near Jaffna. Again there is no indication as to the origin of the missile but it is possible that it was North Korean.

Other weapons on view include a variety of AK-type assault rifles, an RPD light machine gun, a Heckler Koch HK69A1 40mm grenade launcher (identical to those in service with the Sri Lankan Army, so probably a captured weapon), and a Singaporean CIS 40GL 40mm grenade launcher.

Further, more comprehensive details of the Sea Tigers' organisation and tactics can be found in the March edition of Jane's Intelligence Review. For information about the video, contact jir@janes.co.uk

See our products section for more information and pricing on Intelligence Review.

I have to add that military experts now agree that these boats were built by the LTTE and not by the north koreans as some sugegcted ealier.

The LTTE is also belived to have built some mini(midget)subs and are said to have imported torpedoes from an unknown country(as of yet).Their midget subs have sonar as well.
they have reportedly bought a sub-bulding simulation software from france thru intermediaries.

as for the technical expertise, its a known fact that LTTE is able to get the assistance of literally hundreds of engineers and experts on this field from all over the world, who happen to be srilankan tamils.

15 Oct 06,, 05:59
LTTE maritime unit 'sophisticated' and 'impressive'

Courtesy: IANS - May 1, 2006

New Delhi: Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger guerrillas have developed a "sophisticated" maritime network and they must now be looking for ways to meet the challenges of the latest global maritime security regimes, an Indian scholar says.

Vijay Sakhuja, a former Indian Navy officer and now a senior fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, says that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) "has built up an impressive maritime infrastructure" and sharpened its maritime skills.

"The networks have kept pace with the changing technologies and have adapted themselves to counter the strategies of maritime forces," says 14-page study, titled "The Dynamics of LTTE's Commercial Maritime Infrastructure".

The LTTE, which controls a vast stretch of territory in Sri Lanka's northeast, also operates a powerful naval wing that is called "Sea Tigers", which includes a suicide unit of its own known as "Black Sea Tigers".

But as opposed to the Sea Tigers' fast moving attack vessels, the LTTE has built a mammoth maritime unit that mostly ferries legitimate cargo from one part of the world to another but also carries, when needed, arms and explosives for the Tigers.

Sakhuja says the LTTE's maritime assets and organisation "are quite capable and can well compete with the maritime facilities of a small island state" and they include a fleet of merchant ships, a large number of fishing trawlers, high-speed motor launches, and professionally trained crew.

"The LTTE may also have some vessels capable of carrying one to two shipping containers."

Sakhuja's focus on the maritime wing, which he calls "impressive" and "sophisticated", and says it has "kept pace with the changing technologies. Besides, the Sea Tigers "have also sharpened their capability to attack enemy ships both in harbour and at sea".

In view of the post 9/11 maritime security matrix being imposed upon states and the maritime community, the task before the LTTE is indeed demanding, says Sakhuja, who held several key appointments as a navy officer.

The latest security regimes include the Proliferation Security Initiative, the International Ship and Port Facility Security and those related to the Flag of Convenience.

"The LTTE would be probing for strategies that would ensure the security of its maritime enterprise of its covert operations. It will rely on its network of suppliers, safe havens for its ships and reliable crew for steering its fleet," the study says.

"The requirements of security will therefore be carefully chosen by the LTTE so as not to impede its maritime trade, gun running, drug and human smuggling. It will build suitable responses to prevent a slowing down of its flow of finances and materials that serve as its umbilical cord."

Sakhuja says the loss of Indian logistical support in the wake of the LTTE's 1991 assassination of former premier Rajiv Gandhi was the primary reason for it to augment its ocean bound maritime fleet to transport arms and ammunition from distant markets.

"The LTTE fleet of ocean going merchant ships operates independently of the Sea Tigers. The command, control and communication of the commercial fleets is different from that of the Sea Tigers.

"But the Sea Tigers are transferred on occasion to serve in the commercial fleet. These vessels engage in transporting a variety of general cargo like timber, cement, flour, sugar, salt and steel.

"The LTTE vessels also engage in drug smuggling, gun running, human smuggling and transporting LTTE cadres...

"At the same time, it is important to keep in mind that drug couriers with links to the LTTE have been arrested worldwide, but no LTTE ships transporting narcotics have been intercepted or searched."

Sakhuja says it is difficult to determine the precise number of ships, trawlers and smaller vessels in the inventory of the LTTE but estimates this could vary from 12 to 15 ships that are 1,000 to 1,500 tons DWT (dead weight tonnage).

Similarly, he says that it would be fair to conclude that the LTTE cadres capable of undertaking open ocean and high sea operations would number at least 125. "It is also possible that the LTTE may be augmenting its fleet operations by hiring crew from the Philippines and Indonesia that are the largest suppliers of merchant ship crew".

the PDF file of his report