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Sri Lanka Army - Sri Lanka Artillery

Sri Lanka ArtilleryDuring the colonial period the Ceylon Garrison Artillery personnel manned British Coastal artillery batteries. After independence and establishment Artillery Regiment, the corps depended on its World War II-era British BL 6 inch coastal guns, 40 mm anti-aircraft guns, 3.7 inch heavy anti-aircraft guns and 4.2-inch heavy mortars. Later British Ordnance QF 25 pounder Mark III field guns and 76 mm mountain guns where introduced.

New sources of weaponry in the 1990s and 2000s included China and the Czech Republic. With the escalation of the Sri Lankan civil war 122mm, 152 mm, 130 mm howitzers and 120 mm, 82 mm mortars where introduced and in 2000 RM-70 Multiple rocket launchers where added increasing SLAs fire power. Target acquisition systems are also operated by the corps to locate enemy guns. The air defence role has now been completely taken over by the Sri Lanka Air Force Regiment.

The roots of the Sri Lanka Artillery goes back to 1888, when on 12 April 1888 Ceylon Artillery Volunteers was formed as a gun battery under the command of Captain C.E.H Seimans of the Royal Artillery. During World War I Ceylon Artillery Volunteers was mobilised along with Town Guard Artillery of Colombo for the defence of Colombo. In 1918 the Ceylon Garrison Artillery (CGA) was formed by amalgamating the Ceylon Artillery Volunteers and Town Guard Artillery, coming under the Ceylon Defence Force. During the colonial period the main responsibility of the Ceylon Garrison Artillery was the coastal defence of Ceylon, by manning Coastal artillery batteries. During World War II CGA was deployed outside Ceylon to support the Allied and Commonwealth forces in the Indian Ocean as well as defending Ceylon. Equipped with 6 inch Guns the CGA was deployed in defence of Seychelles and the Cocos Islands.

In 1949 CGA became the Ceylon Artillery with formation of the Ceylon Army under the Army Act of 1949. That year the 1st Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment (HAA) of the Ceylon Artillery was formed under the command of Lieutenant Colonel (later Colonel) F.C. de Saram OBE. In 1953 it was renamed the 1st Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment (LAA), that same year the 3rd Field Artillery Regiment was formed. The 2nd Volunteer Coastal Artillery / Anti-Aircraft Regiment was formed in 1949, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel J.A.T. Perera ED, it was made up of officers and men of the Ceylon Garrison Artillery.

In 1962 2nd Volunteer Regiment was disbanded and coastal artillery batteries decommissioned. The following year in 1963 the 1st Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment was amalgamated with 3rd Field Artillery Regiment and the 4th Regiment, Ceylon Artillery was formed, thus reducing the Ceylon Artillery to a single regiment. Years after amalgamation of the LAA, the air defence role of the Sri Lankan military was taken over by the Sri Lanka Air Force Regiment which it carries out to this day. The CA was renamed in 1972 as the Sri Lanka Artillery when Ceylon became a republic. Only in 1980 was a new volunteer regiment, the 5th (V) Artillery Regiment was formed.

Regular Regiments
4th Field Regiment SLA
6th Field Regiment SLA
7th Light Regiment SLA
8th Field Regiment SLA
9th Field Regiment SLA
10th Field Regiment SLA
11th Regiment [RFT] SLA
14th Rocket Regiment SLA
15th Field Regiment SLA
16th Regiment [RFT] SLA
17th Regiment [RFT] SLA
18th Regiment [RFT] SLA
School Of Artillery
Independent Locating Battery
Volunteer Regiments
5th(v) Sri Lanka Artillery Regiment
12th(v) Sri Lanka Artillery Regiment
As of 2012 the Sri Lanka Artillery had 12 regular regiments, 2 volunteer regiments a School of Artillery and a regimental band. Since the start of the Sri Lankan civil war in the 1980s the SLA has provided fire support for all most all military operations carried out by the Sri Lanka Army against terrorists, it also performs the target acquisition role to locate enemy guns. At times the SLA has been deployed 4 regular [RFT] and 2 vol regiments in an infantry role to meet the shortage of infantry.

The 4th Field Regiment Sri Lanka Artillery is the oldest member of the Gunner Family. It was raised on 26th April 1963 at Panagoda. The Regiment was initially equipped with 76 mm Mountain Guns and supported infantry troops during 1971 insurgency. Later equipped with 85 mm Chinese Guns it supported ground operations during Elam Wars 1 & 2. Re-equipped with 122 mm and 130 mm guns, to meet the challenge of evolving threat, the Regiment actively participated in the Humanitarian Operations in the North and East.

The 6th Field Regiment Sri Lanka Artillery was raised on 01 September 1985 at Panagoda. This Regiment was initially equipped with 25 Pounder Field guns and supported infantry troops during Elam war 1 & 2. Subsequently the Regiment was equipped with 122 mm Guns. Regiment also responsible for the duties of Ceremonial Saluting Battery.

The 7th Light Regiment Sri Lanka Artillery was raised on 10 November 1988 at Minneriya . This Regiment was initially equipped with 120mm motars and supported infantry troops in close quarter battles very effectively during Elam war 1 & 2 . 122 mm guns are currently used on operations in the Regiment.

The 8th Regiment of Sri Lanka Artillery was formed under the directive of the Army Headquarters as Reinforcement to cater for the regiment of troops to perform infantry duties in the North and East. Thus in keeping with the tradition and norms of the regiment of Artillery the new regiment was formed on the 1st of January 1994 in Panagoda under the Leadership of Lt Col VR Silva IG. The 1st Commanding officer of the unit. The officer and soldiers who reported to form the new regiment were primarily from classic Artillery units. During the regiment tenure as a RFT unit it performed infantry duties under command to SF HQ (Wanni) in Gajasinghepura, Thandikulam & Musalkutti from Jan 1994 to November 1994. Later troops were relived from the Vauvniya area in order to deploy in Mannar Island. On the 6th of March 1996 the 8th regiment (RFT) was declared as a classic Artillery unit and was instructed to take up duties as a medium Artillery Regiment With 130 mm guns. With the transition of the RFT Regiment to a fully fledged classic unit with guns, deployed in all theaters of conflict in the country.

The 9th regiment of Sri Lanka artillery joined the gunner family as per the raising instruction of ARO 97/96 dated 14 December 1996 with its inauguration customarily at Panagoda the traditional home of gunners on 23rd January 1997. However the abandoned building complex belongs to Mahaweli project at Talawa a small town situated 15km south of ancient city of Anuradhapura was housed to this newly raised unit since 10 February 1997 under the sheer dedication of its pioneer commanding officer Lt Col SAAL Perera IG. Since its inception the unit performed Artillery coordinator tasks to provide fire power to various formations during all the campaigns to begin with operation Edibala where the MSR was re-opened from Medawachchiya to Mannar in 1997. 9th regiment was fortunate to provide and coordinated fire power during final victorious battle to 53 division the formation which was able to eliminate the LTTE leader at Nandikadal lagoon by firing the historic last artillery salvo denoting officialy the state of Guns Silence after three decades of long war in Sri Lanka.

The 10th Reinforcement Regiment Sri Lanka Artillery was raised on 10 January 1997 In Achchuvely Jaffna to support the defensive operations in Palaly FDLs. During operation Jayasikuru the Regiment was assigned the task of operating with newly acquired 152mm medium Guns. Thereafter the Regiment has supported in all major operations in north and east.

The 11th Reinforcement Regiment Sri Lanka Artillery was raised on 30 July 1998 at Thambuththegama, Anuradhapura and since has seen in active service in the North. This Regiment was raised on Infantry role and performed commendable role in par with other Infantry Regiments to date. The Role of the regiment performed during humanitarian Operations conducted recent past under 58 Division starting from Vedithaltivu to Nandikadal was highly commended in many peers.

The 14th Rocket Regiment Sri Lanka Artillery was raised on 13 September 2001 at Palaly. The Regiment has Checz, Chinese and Slovakian built four equipment batteries, each one operates with 8 Multi Barrel Rocket Launchers & 1 command post. 14th Regiment is the only Artillery unit equipped with the state of the 122mm MBRLs. Each Rocket has a range of 20175-33150 Mtrs and can be delivered to an accuracy of 5 Meters. In Combat situations, MBRL is now the preferred weapon of choice and one of the key weapons to success of the war. The MBRLs provide the Army with huge amounts of firepower. Launchers operate from concealed hides, fire their rockets and then relocate before the enemy can find them. During recent combat situations, rockets have been the most demanded, hitting the area targets while safeguarding friendly forces and the local population.

The 15th Field Regiment Sri Lanka Artillery was raised on 29 August 2008 at Thalawa Anuradhapura. The youngest Regiment on the classic role, 15th Field Regiment was initially equipped with 122mm guns and supported infantry troops during Elam war 3.

The 16th Reinforcement Regiment Sri Lanka Artillery was raised on 16th January 2008 at Thoppigala. This Regiment was raised purely on Infantry role has performed commendable role in par with other Infantry battalions.

The 17th Reinforcement Regiment Sri Lanka Artillery was raised on 25th April 2008 at Maduru oya. This Regiment too was raised to meet the threat of terrorists in Mankulam/Kilinochchi areas and had played a pivotal Role.

The 18th Reinforcement Regiment Sri Lanka Artillery was raised on 29th July 2008 in Mannar. The youngest Regiment in the Regiment of Artillery was raised on Infantry role and has distinguished in holding formation during recent operations.

School of Artillery was raised on 26th Oct 1957 by then Commander of the Army Brig AM Muthukumaru OBE ED ADC and located at the Army Headquarters. Inaugural Role of School of Artillery was to conduct courses related to Heavy Anti Air Crafts/Light Anti Air Craft courses. Subsequently School was relocated under 4th Regiment Sri Lanka Artillery Panagoda. On 11 Oct 1991 School was relocated at Minneriya and has been functioning as fully fledge Independent training School.

Independent Locating Battery was raised on 17th September 1995 at School of Artillery Minneriya in view of enemy Target acquisition & battle field Survey. Battery was deployed with 371 Chinese radars initially and thereafter equipped with surveillance systems of sound ranging. Since the locating battery has taken part in all the major operations with state of Art AN TPQ 36/37 radars. AN TPQ 36/37 automatically detects, locates and classifies multiple artillery, rockets and mortars and carries out a threat assessment based on weapon or impact positions. Powered by a standard Army field/medium batteries, In friendly mode ILB is also used by artillery Observation Parties (OPs) to detect where artillery shells are landing in relation to the target (fall of shot). The Battery has played very decisive role during high intensity operations in support of land, air and sea operations.

The 5th (Voluteer) Regiment Sri Lanka Artillery was raised on at Welioya The oldest volunteer Regiment of Sri lanka the Artillery was raised on Infantry role and were very successful in maintaining law and order in threaten villages.

The 12th (Voluteer) Regiment Sri Lanka Artillery was raised on at Damminna- Maduruoya . The regiment has distinguished it self greatly during Humanitarian operations in the East.

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