No. 9 Squadron SLAF
|No. 9 Attack Helicopter Squadron|
|Active||November 1995 - to present day|
|Branch||Sri Lanka Air Force|
|Role||Close Air Support|
|Engagements||Sri Lankan Civil War|
Group Captain Jagath Rodrigo- the first Commanding Officer,Wing Commander Thilina Kaluarachchi - First Instructor Pilot
No. 9 "Attack Helicopter" Squadron is a squadron of the Sri Lanka Air Force. It currently operates the air force's fleet of Attack Helicopter of Mil Mi-24s, Mil Mi-35s and Mi-17Sh s from SLAF Hingurakgoda for Close Air Support. The squadron is tasked with close air support/battlefield air interdiction, air interdiction, maritime air operations, armed escort missions and air defence operations.
The squadron was formed on November 24, 1995 at the SLAF Base Hingurakgoda with three leased Mil Mi-24 attack helicopters with . At its formation the squadron had five pilots, 26 engineering crew. In 1996 the leased aircraft were returned and new ones were bought. In 2000 Mi-35Ps were added to the fleet. The Squadron currently operates a mix of Mi-24/-35P and Mi-24V/-35 versions. They have recently been upgraded with modern Israeli FLIR and electronic warfare systems. Five were upgraded to intercept aircraft by adding radar, fully functional helmet mounted target tracking systems, and AAMs. Seven Mi-24 List of Sri Lanka Air Force aircraft losses during the Sri Lankan Civil War, have been destroyed to LTTE MANPADs& anti aircraft guns, and another two lost in attacks on airbases, with one heavily damaged but later returned to service.
Year of introduction
- Group Captain Jagath Rodrigo - First Commanding Officer- 24.11.95 to 23.10.2000 (KIA)
- Wing Commander Thilina Kaluarachchi, WWV, RWP and bar, RSP and bar - First Instructor Pilot, No. 9 Attack Helicopter Squadron. (KIA)
- Wing Commander Tyronne Silvapulle - First OC OPS (KIA)
- Wing Commander Wanigasooriya.
- Squadron Leader Channa Dissanayake
- Squadron Leader Priyamal Fernando
- Squadron Leader Deshapriya Silva
- Squadron Leader Nipuna Thanippuliarachchi
- Squadron Leader TN Deen
- Squadron Leader Amal Wahid.
- Squadron Leader Anurudha Mallasekare (KIA)
- Squadron Leader Danesh Gunasekara (KIA)
- Squadron Leader Bandu Edirisinghe.
- Squadron Leader Lasantha Kodithuakku (KIA)
- Flying Officer Atiq (KIA).
- Flying Officer Ashrof Dole - First Volunteer and youngest Attack Helicopter Pilot to serve.
- Flying Officer Nuwan Kadurugamuwa - First Forward Supply Officer.
- Wing Commander MDAP Payoe RSP, Commanding Officer- 24.10.2000 to 13.12.2004
- Wing Commander RMPRS Dharmawardena RWP,RSP, Commanding Officer- 14.12.2004 to 26.12.2006
- Wing Commander HSS Thuyacontha- Commanding officer- 26.12.2006 to 22.09.2009
- Wing Commander IMYA Bandara RSP- Commanding Officer- 22.09.2009 to 06.07.2010
- Wing Commander Thushara Weeraratne - Commanding Officer - 06.07.2010 to 31.12.2013
- Group Captain IMYA Bandara RSP - Commanding Officer - 01.01.2014 to 01.03.2014
- Wing Commander Deshapriya Silva - Commanding Officer - 02.03.2014 to 01.01.2015
- Group Captain Channa Dissanayake - Commanding Officer - 01.01.2015 upto date.
Officer Commanding Maintenance
- Wing Commander Nilantha Udukala - First Officer Commanding Maintenance
- Wing Commander Palitha Satharasinghe
- Wing Commander Malinda Perera
- Squadron Leader Sanjaya Thotahewage
- Squadron Leader Titus Pieris
- Squadron Leader Chandana Liyanage
- Squadron Leader Dushan Wijesinghe
- Squadron Leader Bandara Sumanasekera
- Squadron Leader Saluka Liyanagunawardana (From Dec 2013 to date)