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Sri Lanka Seeks to Establish Joint Small Arms Plant With India

© AP Photo / Manish SwarupIndian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hand with Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe after making press statement respectively, in New Delhi, India, Friday, July 21, 2023.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hand with Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe after making press statement respectively, in New Delhi, India, Friday, July 21, 2023. - Sputnik India, 1920, 15.05.2024
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The Sri Lankan state minister of defence has said that connectivity, particularly military-to-military, between India and Sri Lanka is excellent. He emphasized that while this strong connection is maintained, it does not imply that Sri Lanka intends to make purchases.
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 on Wednesday morning.
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.

Tennakoon 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.

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", Tennakoon added.

He confirmed that Sri Lanka is in talks with India on establishing a small arms manufacturing facility.
The Sri Lankan Armed Forces primarily use the Type 56 (T56) assault rifle, which fires 7.62x39 mm cartridges, along with various pistols that use 9 mm cartridges.
The Sri Lankan 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.
Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena, left, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shake hands as they pose for photos before their meeting in New Delhi, India, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015 - Sputnik India, 1920, 28.10.2023
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