Colombo, Mar 3 (efe-epa).- Indian fighter jets performed aerobatics, maneuvering through the Colombo skies Wednesday at an air show at Galle Face Green in the capital as part of the 70th anniversary celebrations of the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF).
Indian air force chief RKS Bhadauria, who is on a two-day Sri Lanka tour, witnessed the inaugural ceremony of the celebrations as jets roared across Colombo.
An Indian defense ministry statement said Bhadauria was visiting the island nation on an invitation from his Sri Lankan counterpart Sudarshana Pathirana.
“The presence of the (Indian air chief) during the inaugural day of the air show reinforces the strength of IAF-SLAF ties. The visit will further strengthen the existing cooperative process and open up newer avenues of mutual interest,” it said.
According to the Indian Air Force, aircraft of the IAF and the Indian Navy have been hangaring in Sri Lanka for the past many days to rehearse and participate in the three-day aerial extravaganza.
It said the IAF contingent, consisting of the Surya Kiran and Sarang helicopter aerobatic display team and multirole light combat aircraft Tejas, joined the SLAF last week to participate in the celebrations.
The IAF’s Sarang display team operates modified Dhruv advanced light helicopters while the Surya Kiran operates BAE Hawk Aircraft.
The aerobatic team (SKAT) had earlier toured Sri Lanka in 2001 for the 50th anniversary celebrations of the SLAF.
The SLAF said its Indian counterpart was taking part in the event “in keeping with the long years of close interaction and camaraderie” between the two neighbors.
The Indian high commission in Colombo said the IAF jets performed fly past and aerobatic displays as two air forces displayed the “strengthening bonds of friendship and camaraderie.”
The event was organized while adhering to strict health guidelines issued for the prevention of the spread of Covid-19. EFE-EPA