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ICG Risk Blog - [ Asymmetrical air force symmetries: Biafra Babies and Air Tigers, part II ]

Asymmetrical air force symmetries: Biafra Babies and Air Tigers, part II



Part I: Asymmetrical air force opportunities in interstate and intrastate conflict


Thirty-nine years apart, the two great asymmetrical air forces, the Biafra Babies and LTTE Air Tigers, had remarkably similar aircraft performance criteria:

  • Single engine monoplane
  • Basic "two-place" or two-passenger trainer aircraft (stable responsive platform, easy to fly/control, at best forgiving)
  • Four-seat (2+2) monoplanes in trainer class offer increased ordnance carrying capacity
  • Modifiable to light-strike attack role
  • Forward and downward cockpit visibility (high wing or cockpit forward of low wing) for ground attack role
  • Short field, unimproved field take-off and landing
  • Low maintenance ("field maintainable") and broad parts availability, low operating costs
  • External hard points (presence of, or ability to retrofit, hard point releases to either fuselage and/or wings w/o compromise to aircraft cg or weight limits)
  • Mixed ordnance delivery (bombs, rockets, gun)
  • Weapons/ordnance carrying capacity
  • Operational range (with ordnance)
  • Survivability (combination of surprise, time over target, maneuverability, speed, enemy capabilities)
  • Transportable to operational area (ferry distance with additional fuel tanking or disassembly for covert delivery)
  • IFR capacity for night or low visibility conditions (surplus military aircraft already possess capability)
  • Modest acrobatic capacity (often possessed by surplus military aircraft, increasingly common to sport aircraft)

Aircraft meeting these criteria can perform in an environment where the:

  • Inferior force can operate in a Temporary Autonomous Zone (TAZ) of sufficient size and depth to camouflage its launch, recovery and logistics operations.
  • Superior force cannot exercise air dominance and persistent aerial surveillance.

Pertinent TAZ characteristics are: 

  • Areas beyond global nation state control
  • Staging grounds for operations against "controlled" areas
  • Sanctuaries created as needed in areas without global/state order

Both the Biafran and Tamil aircraft were dismantled, smuggled in and reassembled. In both cases, a substantial part of pilot training occurred outside the conflict area.


This writer has not seen any citations indicating that the Tamils studied and applied the lessons of the Biafran Air Force to Sri Lankan airspace, but I rate it a reasonable possibility for four reasons: 

  • Most observers have forgotten the Biafran experience - to the point that the LTTE Air Tigers have erroneously been called the 'first' asymmetrical air force.
  • An asymmetrical air force is well within the LTTE's capacity for inventive and creative military solutions.
  • Given the extensive propaganda campaign the LTTE waged to buoy its diaspora and its operational cadres, it is reasonable to assume that they would like to claim an air force as their own and not a copy.
  • Suppressing the intent to emulate the Biafra Babies continued to lull the SLAF into complacency.

The LTTE is certainly aware of the Biafran experiment as they have appropriated its image into their agitprop materials. At 1:59 into this LTTE propaganda video (which in typical fashion mixes LTTE and non-LTTE footage as well as stills from the 2001 LTTE commando raid on Colombo International Airport), there is a hold on a still illustration of the Biafran MFI-9 MiniCOIN aircraft attacking a Nigerian airfield.


The lessons of those two engagements have shown the optimum means of aerial interdiction to be:

  • Helicopter gunships, not conventional frontline jet aircraft. Helicopters have the speed range, maneuverability, armament and loiter capacity necessary to engage such light aircraft attack assets.
  • Military propeller-driven COIN (counterinsurgency) aircraft. Military COIN aircraft overlap the performance envelope of light aircraft attack assets while providing superior weapons and a more stable gun platform.

Conventional frontline jets could perform the role if they had the look down-shoot down firecontrol radars able to parse very cluttered background landscapes, but they are far more expensive to operate and more difficult to forward base in an emergency.


Operation Biafra Babies - Biafran Air Force


The Nigerian-Biafran War rose in an attempt to reverse the secession of Nigeria's southeastern provinces as the Republic of Biafra. The Biafrans were generally at a disadvantage in all respects, including fielding a substantive army and securing any form of air force. Carl Gustav von Rosen conceived and coined the MiniCOIN (Mini-Counter Insurrection) role: 

It had occurred to von Rosen that in a "low intensity conflict" small piston engine aircraft, even a featherweight like the MFI-9B, is quite capable of making a difference. This is especially true of operations under primitive conditions in rough terrain... The Nigerian civil war fit the bill perfectly. The Biafrans had exhausted all of the conventional sources in their search for aircraft and were desperate for any kind of an air capability. It was probably their desperation that overcame their initial skepticism when von Rosen approached them with his idea...


[Von Rosen's] choice fell upon the Malmö Flygindustri MFi-9B, a small two seat sports plane intended as a trainer (also called "kit-plane"). Being a trainer the aircraft had a good view forward and downwards, the platform were also stable and easy to fly/control. Von Rosen realized that with some simple modifications the MFI-9Bs could be used as light-strike attack planes. A total of nine MFI-9Bs were obtained in two different sets. The planes were obtained on the civilian market (in Sweden), then they were disassembled and smuggled into Biafra.


The MFI-9B had the advantage of being a low profile aircraft type. Although it had been militarized it was widely regarded as a sporting plane and was not likely to show up on the radar screens of international inspectors enforcing non intervention policies. Another advantage of the MFI-9B [was] its low price, the initial batch of 5 MFI-9B's plus a complete supply of spares, bought under cover provided by the Tanzanian government, cost the Biafrans only $60.000 2) which rose to $140.000 including refitting and initial payments to pilots and technicians. This still left the problem of obtaining armament and military avionics. The avionics problem was quickly solved by purchasing surplus reflector sights from decommissioned SAF J-22 fighters. This left the problem of armament.


[The] how and where the Biafran MFI-9B's acquired their armament [appears to be that] French technicians helped change the MFI-9B's electrical system from 24V to 12V, wired the aircraft up for weapons, designed attachment points for armaments and suggested the most sensible warheads for the rockets the MiniCOINs would fire. The armament chosen consisted of two small 68mm 3) six round Matra rocket pods, one fitted to a hard point under each wing. It was also decided to use primarily AP-rockets since it was presumed that the majority of targets would be vehicles and buildings.

The performance of the Biafra Babies was remarkable:

The MFI-9B's flew more than 300 combat missions in Biafra attacking Nigerian Air Force facilities and airplanes... The actual effectiveness is not known, since the Nigerian casualty reports are probably too low while the MFI-9B pilotes estimates are too high. Although the destruction of only one NAF MIG 17F can be positively confirmed, that single MIG 17 (serial, NAF 620) probably cost the NAF more money than the entire MFI-9B fleet cost the Biafran government. It is clear that the NAF escaped more serious damage in many BAF attacks because of the lack of experience of BAF pilots (including the von Rosen group) and the limited arsenal of the MiniCOIN. The effectiveness of the mini-COIN’s was much a psychological one, irritating the Nigerian Air Force and forcing them to be on the alert for attacks. Together with the confirmed destroyed MiG-17 there were several MiG’s and Il-28’s together with NAF facilities reported damaged during the raids.

The raid on Port Harcourt airfield of 22 May, 1969, changed the asymmetrical landscape, redefining the art-of-the-possible. Despite prodigious efforts by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), it scored only a sole victory in its effort to route the BAF MiniCOINs on 29 November, 1969: 

A MIG17 following a couple of MiniCOINs back after an attack on Nigerian army positions conducted a strafing attack on the Newly landed MiniCOINs. [Both pilots] escaped but one MiniCOIN exploded. The second MiniCOIN was damaged but later repaired.

The MiniCOIN aircraft "remained very active" through the final months before the collapse of Biafra. Some observations beyond the lack of BAF pilot training which tempered their motivation and risk taking: 

[The] MiniCOIN bases proved to be almost impossible to find... without a disproportionately large recconaisance effort... since the MiniCOINs could take off from any reasonably flat patch of minimally prepared ground and constantly changed bases... The Biafran MiniCOINs and their North American T-6 bretheren could be operated for long periods, in the deep bush, out of the back of a lorry... [Conversely, the NAF] MIG 17F fighters were tied to a hand full of high grade runways and sophisticated maintenance facilites which made them vulnerable...


The MiniCOINs also proved to be surprisingly immune to Ground fire and when they were hit it was usually 7.62mm or 12.7mm small-arms hits and the damage could usually be fixed with an aluminum patch and some glue. [Conversely, a] NAF MIG 17F or Il-28 damaged in a MiniCOIN attack could be out of commission for days and even weeks pending delivery of parts [from] the Soviet Union and arrival of specialist, military-jet qualified mechanics...

We will see these lessons reappear in the Tamil secession in Sri Lanka.


Vaanpuligal - Tamil Tiger Air Force


The LTTE began to employ modified Czech-built Zlin aircraft against the Sri Lankan state in 2007:

On March 26, at about 0045L, two light strike aircraft manned by dissidents of the previously unknown Air Force of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) attacked Sri Lanka's international airport North of Colombo (CMB). They focused their attention on the Katunayake Air Force Base on the opposite side of the runway to the international terminal...


Tiger aircraft were able to come right up to Colombo's outskirts, bomb a supposedly well-protected military installation, and fly back to the safety of LTTE-controlled territory. They were not even close to being intercepted...


At least three airmen were killed and 17 others injured in the attack. Terrified passengers waiting for flights at the nearby international airport described panic and chaos as people ran for cover amid the sound of explosions. All flights into and out of CMB were suspended and passengers on aircraft were evacuated into the airport terminal building.


Cathay Pacific, which had one of its aircraft trapped on the ground full of passengers, has suspended all flights into Colombo until further notice. Two light aircraft dropped three bombs on the air base, but the bombs were directed at the barracks and did not hit the more valuable targets: the Israeli Kfir and Russian Mig 27 fighters and helicopter gun ships parked there.


The Tamil Tigers' last suicide attack on Bandaranaike International Airport was a ground assault on July 24, 2001, when sappers destroyed more than a dozen military aircraft plus two A330's, one A340 and one A320 at the civilian terminal. The greater damage was to the economy and tourism...

The Czech Zlin aircraft were modified to carry "four bombs mounted on a light series carrier that is attached in line with the wing's trailing-edge between the undercarriage struts." See photos here. Confounding the embarrassment of the Sri Lankan government, it is likely that the LTTE paved the runway under their nose: 

Careful examination of commercially available satellite imagery indicates clearing and laying of asphalt on an airstrip to the east of the Iranamadu reservoir in the LTTE dominated areas during the period 2003-2004. In January 2003, the Asian Development Bank embarked on a road development project [to] resurface and asphalt the A9 highway which runs through LTTE-dominated areas using the services of eight subcontractors. It is possible that construction material from the project may have been pilfered to asphalt the airstrip. The airstrip is believed to be 1250 meters long. A defence correspondent in Sri Lanka has reported that a Searcher UAV of the Sri Lanka Air Force, conducting a reconnaissance flight over LTTE dominated areas detected a light aircraft on the Iranamadu airstrip on 12 & 13 January 2005. On a subsequent night mission on 03 February, the infrared cameras of the UAV detected thermal images of a second light aircraft landing on the airstrip. The images which were shared with US intelligence, have confirmed one aircraft to be a Czech built Zlin Z-143.

The Sri Lankan government was willfully ignorant of the growing LTTE threat:

The Tigers have been trying to put together an air wing for more than two decades. In 1988, the Indian Peace Keeping Force then in the country found assembly parts of micro-light aircraft and instruction manuals in LTTE hideouts. In subsequent years, the Lankan armed forces have discovered LTTE workshops where attempts were being made to assemble aircraft. Aircraft spare parts too were found in these workshops.


Through the 1990s, intelligence and media reports indicated that Tigers in Europe and North America were purchasing technical manuals on aircraft and shopping around for light aircraft and parts. It appears that the Tigers managed to purchase a micro-light craft around the mid-1990s. They dismantled it and smuggled it into northern Sri Lanka by sea. In November 1998, the LTTE radio, the Voice of Tigers, reported that the LTTE used aircraft to shower petals on the graves of its fighters on the occasion of Martyrs Day.


Despite clear evidence that the LTTE's ambition of acquiring air power was rapidly taking wing, the government chose to deny this throughout the 1990s - it finally acknowledged the fact after 2004. In May 2005, Hagrup Haukland, head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), confirmed to journalists in Colombo that the LTTE had "air assets". He said he had seen an airstrip while flying in a helicopter over LTTE-controlled area, but the Tigers had denied the SLMM access to the runway...

The LTTE proceeds to put Sri Lanka in a state of panic by launching two more aerial attacks:

In what is regarded as the "Fourth Eelam War," at least three successful air raids have been carried out by the LTTE's Tamil Eelam air force (TAF) since 26 March, the date of the first such attack on the Sri Lankan air force (SLAF) base at Katunayake...


In the second successful air strike on 24 April, the TAF inflicted extensive damage to a Sri Lankan army engineering unit in the Palali military complex, leaving six soldiers dead and a dozen others wounded.


Once again the TAF returned to strike the Katunayake air base on 26 April, likely in commemoration of the one month anniversary of the first successful air strike. The 26 April attempt, however, failed.


Not deterred by the Sri Lankan air force's pledge to destroy the LTTE's air capability with the deployment of anti- aircraft artilleries, another air raid was carried out in the early hours of 29 April, when the TAF bombers targeted two oil storage facilities that cater to SLAF in Kolonnawa and Muththuraajawala areas.


In this pre-dawn swoop, fuel facilities belonging to Indian Oil and the Dutch Shell were targeted successively, only hours after the SLAF's air strike in the town of Kilinochchi - an LTTE stronghold.

The LTTE proceeded to launch sorties across the island, perhaps as many as ten, including the February 2009 attacks. It remains to be seen how many of the Zlin-143 aircraft remain in LTTE Air Tiger inventory:

[In 2007] It had been widely expected that the Tigers would use their air wing to carry out suicide attacks, using the craft as deadly flying bombs. Instead, they chose to herald their arrival as an air "power" not with a spectacular suicide operation but with a conventional bomb attack. This could have been a purely logistical decision as a suicide attack would also destroy the aircraft, and the Tigers do not have many in reserve...

In 2009, the LTTE is now being forced into a "use it or lose it" strategy as LTTE territory has been reduced to a "small area in the north-east of the island."


The Sri Lankan government was further embarrassed by a two-plane sortie on the night of 20 February, 2009. While it appears that the state "Air Defence System" was able to confirm the downing of at least one aircraft, after one dropped at least one bomb, the attack followed a state claim "to have destroyed all the rebels' hidden runways and put its small air force out of action": 

The city was put on full alert at about 2130 (1600 GMT) on Friday as electricity was cut and searchlights and tracer fire from anti-aircraft guns cut through the night sky. [Correspondents] heard firing of heavy anti-aircraft guns. Heavy shell fire. This lasted 20-25 minutes... then there was a massive explosion."

One plane was downed attempting to reach the civil and military assets at the adjoining International Airport and the SLAF base at Katunayaka. Despite the raid’s lack of significant damage, its propaganda value was enormous to the Tamil diaspora: 

The Tamil diaspora has in recent weeks been increasingly vocal in its condemnation of the war - almost at the same time as Friday's raid, about 14,000 people in Geneva rallied demanding independence for Tamil areas of Sri Lanka. Some of the Tamils in Europe, Canada, and Australia have provided the rebels with significant financial support over the last three decades and many will see this raid as a morale-boosting development in the face of recent setbacks.


"It is very significant that the rebels have carried out such an audacious attack when the government say that they are all but finished... It confirms what many of us already knew - the rebels may be experiencing reverses on the battle field but they are not simply just going to disappear."

Diasporas as funding and weapons procurement channels


Rebel groups must acquire “start-up finance” as: 

The survival condition imposes a minimum size on rebel forces below which they cannot be operational in resource predation. This implies that there are threshold start-up costs. Since rebellions may not be able to raise funding from conventional sources, they must look elsewhere... 

The three main sources of rebel revenue are primary commodity exports, diasporas and foreign powers, either or both great powers and regional states: 

An economic calculus of the costs and opportunities for the control of primary commodity exports appears to be the main systematic initial impetus to rebellion, with an additional effect from fear of domination by an ethnic majority. After peace has been restored, the legacy of conflict-induced grievance enables rebel movements to restart conflict by drawing on the support of their diasporas... 

Having no, or denied access to, primary commodity or foreign state funding, rebel groups must fall back on their diasporas (A rebel group fighting to overthrow then Congolese President Laurent Kabila took "their fight to the Internet in a bid to raise funds and publicize their cause" in 1998.): 

A further potentially important source of start-up finance for rebellion is a diaspora living in OECD countries. Such diasporas are usually much richer than the population in their country of origin. They are better-placed for collective action: emigrants have a cultural incentive to create diaspora organizations which can then discipline free-riding. They do not suffer the consequences of the conflicts they finance. As with grievance among the local population, in the greed-model grievance among the diaspora is assumed to be manufactured by the rebel organization rather than being an original cause of conflict. Hence, the diaspora increases the risks of conflict renewal, but not the initial risk of conflict...


A large diaspora considerably increases the risk of further conflict. [Comparing] the post-conflict society with the largest diaspora against that with the smallest [after] five years of peace the risk of renewed conflict is around six times greater.

Haiti is an example of a weak state subject to constant interference by its diaspora:

Following the resignation of former Haitian President Jena-Bertrand Aristide..., the Haitian diaspora representatives in the US have announced that their community was ready to get involved in the country’s reconstruction... The Haitian diaspora accounts for more than 1.5 million people, and 600.000 of them live in New York. This community is the result of successive waves of immigrants fleeing from poverty and political repression since the 1960’s... "The Haitian diaspora must play an important role this time. It is in our own interest, it is the United States’ interest and the international community’s. We have competent people and relevant means of action, but we have to be integrated, not left aside." [World Bank Press Review for Mar. 2, 2004. Scrolled off]

It is interesting that while diaspora groups initially manipulate and finance their in-country colleagues, once the rebel group gains critical mass or reaches nation state status, the in-country group reverses roles, manipulating and "milking" their diaspora. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka and the the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) in Eritrea are notable examples.


After exterminating rival groups that they could not absorb, the LTTE emerged as one of the deadliest, resourceful and commercially minded terrorist groups. (But readers should note that ethnic Tamil-Sinhalese turmoil significantly predates even the 1970s. A colleague who was living in Sri Lanka, then Ceylon, back in "the early fifties" told me that Tamils and Sinhalese "were fighting then." [private email]): 

Ethnic Tamils, who are largely Hindu and make up 18 percent of Sri Lanka's population of 20 million, began a largely nonviolent movement in the 1960s to champion more government recognition. But it was not until the early 1970s that the Tamils began forming several rebel groups. In 1976, Tamils gathered as the LTTE and for the first time called for the formation of a separate state of Tamil Ealam covering the northern and eastern provinces, where they are in the majority. The LTTE established itself as a major guerilla group in 1983, when a Tamil attack on an army patrol inflamed a series of violent clashes between Sinhalese mobs and Tamils that left thousands dead and produced several hundred thousand refugees. Violence has since escalated [including] an alarming list of political assassinations, including five Cabinet ministers, Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, and Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa.

Beyond funding, the diaspora can involve itself in procuring weapons and war-fighting technology:

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is known to have an active presence in several informal sectors such as credit card cloning, money laundering and human smuggling in Europe and North America. However, the LTTE has emerged as a formidable force and influence within the informal arms market and such has attracted collaborative arrangements with other terrorist groups...


[While the] Bakaaraha arms market near Irtogte in South Mogadishu is [seen as a] central distribution point for the informal arms trade in the Horn of Africa... Eritrea has emerged as a major transshipment point and sanctuary for key players in the informal arms trade. The LTTE established a presence in Eritrea primarily to operate in the informal arms market. It is believed the LTTE maintains regular interactions with many armed groups including groups affiliated to the Al Qaeda operating in the Eritrean Network...


The links between the Islamist terrorist groups and the LTTE are not driven by ideological compatibility, but by the need to influence factors of pricing and convenience in the informal arms market. In most cases the LTTE has developed links with Islamist groups to organize consolidated purchasing opportunities. The LTTE with an annual budget of US$ 200-300 million, supported by an institutionalized procurement network, diaspora based technical expertise and a shipping fleet is a valued partner to other terrorist groups in negotiating procurement deals. The LTTE has the capacity to provide logistical support and facilitate training to partner entities. The LTTE has used its shipping fleet and technical expertise for the delivery of weapons and transfer of competencies most often driven by financial motives and lucrative commercial opportunities.



While the SLAF were unable to either search out and destroy LTTE air assets on the ground or interdict their sorties en route to target, they have demonstrated an improved capacity for point site defense, at least for a high value target as the environs of Colombo. Given the ongoing success of SLA ground assaults against LTTE positions and SLN interdictions of LTTE marine traffic, the continuance of LTTE air attacks is problematic.


The February 2009 sorties may have been the last 'use it or lose it' attacks by the LTTE. This writer expects future asymmetrical air forces to learn the lessons of the Biafran and Tamil experiments as they absorb UAVs and other R/C aircraft into their inventory in order to operate in more confined airspaces against more effective defensive measures, and even launch swarm attacks against the superior force.


In this operational envelope, it is all too easy to envision, say, an asymmetrical UAV swarm launched from protected areas in South Los Angeles against targets in the greater Los Angeles Basin.


Part III forthcoming: Asymmetrical air force intersection with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and drone warfare, part III


The aircraft - LTTE ZLIN Z-143 and Biafran MFI-9B:


ZLIN Z 143 L

Primary/Advanced Training, Touring and Business Flying Aircraft

Moravan Aeroplanes a.s., 765 81 Otrokovice, Czech Republic


MFI-9B Militrainer (1966-1968)

Malmö Flygindustri


Malmö MFI-9



Biafra Airforce (BAF) operations:


Fleas versus Falcons over Biafra

Historical and Current Conflicts Forum

December 4 2007 at 7:48 PM

Text mirror of parts I and II from Brushfire Wars


Operation Biafra Babies

Military aviation, Swedish and worldwide


General citations:


Soldiers, Martyrs, Traitors, and Exiles: Political Conflict in Eritrea and the Diaspora [with excerpt]

Tricia Redeker Hepner

University of Pennsylvania



Air Tigers were on ‘9/11 mission

Lanka Daily News

Feb 21st, 2009


Tigers call suicide air raids successful



Feb 21 2009 10:55


This is how last LTTE air craft came to Colombo and shot down


[Much more extensive SL Naval infrared camera footage]

February 21, 2009


Tamil Tigers Air Force crash near Columbo Sri Lanka 2009022


21 Feb, 2009


Black Air Tiger attack on Colombo's Air Force HQ, Air Base


February 21, 2009


LTTE Aircraft Had Explosives & Bombs Inside; Both Tiger Pilots Confirmed Dead          

Sri Lanka Army

2009-02-21 03:30:06

4th Update


Tamil Tiger planes raid Colombo

BBC News

Page last updated at 09:52 GMT, Saturday, 21 February 2009


S Lanka rebels attack despite losses

By Alastair Lawson

BBC News

Page last updated at 19:21 GMT, Friday, 20 February 2009


LTTE: Black Air Tiger attack on Colombo's Air Force HQ, Air Base


20 February 2009, 22:55 GMT


Tiger aircraft bomb Colombo, 2 killed, 51 wounded


20 February 2009, 16:25 GMT



Tamil Eelam Song - Air Tigers


December 18, 2008

[At 1:59 into this LTTE propaganda video shows a still illustration of the Biafran MFI-9 MiniCOIN attack]


Transnational governance and the centralization of state power in Eritrea and exile

Tricia M. Redeker Hepner

First Published on: 03 August 2007

Ethnic and Racial Studies

Vol. 31 No. 3 March 2008 pp. 476-502

DOI: 10.1080/01419870701491986


Tamil Tiger Links with Islamist Terrorist Groups

Shanaka Jayasekara

Terrorism Researcher, Centre for Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism (PICT), Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT)



Ground attack aircraft questions

Aircraft of World War II - Warbird Forums

August 2007


Sri Lanka bombs Tigers, wants tattered truce reviewed
By Simon Gardner
(Updates with government, Norway comment)
07 May 2007 14:36:03 GMT


Fleas versus Falcons over Biafra

Short history and assessment of the MFI-9B "MiniCOIN" in Biafran air force service

Part I

Kristjan Runarsson 2002


June 28, 2007


Sri Lanka bombs Tigers, wants tattered truce reviewed

By Simon Gardner


(Updates with government, Norway comment)

07 May 2007 14:36:03 GMT


S.Lanka says rebels a threat to India nuclear sites


07 May 2007 14:58:31 GMT

Background Sri Lanka conflict


Gas shortage looming after LTTE air raid - paper

2ND LEAD (Correction)


06 May 2007, 14:27 GMT


Sri Lanka buying advanced fighter jets from Russia - paper


06 May 2007, 11:50 GMT


Tamil Tiger Air Attacks

Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC)

South / Central Asia - Sri Lanka

3 May 2007


Sri Lanka: Rebels with an air force

Commentary by Animesh Roul

ISN Security Watch



Tamil Eelam air planes change war dynamics

Amal Jayasinghe

AFP/Tamil Guardian

01 May 2007


Flying Tigers Hold Sri Lanka To Ransom

by Amal Jayasinghe


May 01, 2007


LTTE planes launch third raid

Tamil Guardian

01 May 2007


Factoring in the Air Tigers

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

Asian Tribune

Published by World Institute for Asian Studies. Vol. 7 No. 001

April, 2007-04-30 04:56


Tigers air attack rattles Colombo

By Joe Leahy in Mumbai

Financial Times

Published: April 30 2007 23:19 | Last updated: April 30 2007 23:19


Tamil Tiger air raids hit capital's oil stores

Amal Jayasinghe in Colombo


April 30, 2007


Tiger planes bomb Palaly base

Tamil Guardian

25 April 2007


Sri Lanka says jets destroy Tamil Tiger naval HQ

By Ranga Sirilal


(Updates with India Foreign Minister comment)

04 Apr 2007 14:45:45 GMT


LTTE Air attack: Air Defence and Related Issues

Guest Column by Commodore RS Vasan IN (Retd)


Posted by Naxal Watch at 11:40 AM

April 03, 2007


Expecting The Unexpected

Terror Tactics Take A New Turn

Aviation Today/Air Safety Week

Monday, April 2, 2007


Air Tigers' Maiden Attack

Motives and Implications

N Manoharan

Senior Fellow, IPCS

Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies


NO 45

APRIL 2007





Tigers take their struggle to new heights

By Sudha Ramachandran

Asia Times

Mar 28, 2007


The Tamil Tiger's 26 Mar 2007 Colombo International Airport Strike [photographs of strike aircraft]

International Aviation Safety Association

March 2007


Revising Haitian Constitution Is Necessary

By Jean-Michel Voltaire, Esq

Caribbean Voice

March 10, 2007



by B.Raman



May 11, 2006


Sliding into War?

Ajit Kumar Singh

Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management


Weekly Assessments & Briefings

Volume 4, No. 41, April 24, 2006


A Culture of War and a Culture of Exile

Young Eritreans in Germany and their Relations to Eritrea

Bettina Conrad

Institute for Political Science, University of Hamburg



Operation Biafra Babies


09-15-2005, 05:05 PM


Terrorism and Civil Aviation Security: Problems and Trends

Jangir Arasly

Connections, The Quarterly Journal

Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes (PfP Consortium)

PfP Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

pp 75-89

Spring 2005


Tigers with Wings - Air Power of the LTTE

N Manoharan

Senior Fellow, IPCS

Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies

Article no. 1720

Date 28 April 2005


Air capabilities of global terror groups and non-formal States

By Shanaka Jayasekara

(Postgraduate Intern, Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, University of St Andrews Scotland)

Sri Lanka News Updates with Discussions

Tuesday, 22 March 2005 - 2:34 AM SL Time


Govt. losing control of east

Situation Report

By Iqbal Athas

The Sunday Times (SL)

ISSN: 1391 - 0531

Vol. 39 - No 41

March 13, 2005


Black Tigers take to the skies


6 February 2005 - 3:05 AM SL Time


MFI-9B's used as mini-COIN's in Biafra




Fleas versus Falcons over Biafra, Part I

Short history and assessment of the MFI-9B "MiniCOIN" in Biafran air force service

Part I

Kristjan Runarsson

Brushfire Wars


SITE currently yielding "The site is being renovated, please come back later."


Fleas versus Falcons over Biafra, Part II

Short history and assessment of the MFI-9B "MiniCOIN" in Biafran air force service

Part II

Kristjan Runarsson

Brushfire Wars


SITE currently yielding "The site is being renovated, please come back later."


Operation Biafra Babies

The Swedish military aviation page

Text last updated 1993 OCT 27


In the Spotlight: Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
Center for Defense Information (CDI)
April 26, 2002


Tigers stick to their guns

By Sudha Ramachandran

Asia Times

December 4, 2001


Intelligence failures exposed by Tamil Tiger airport attack

Jane's Security

3 September 2001   


The Global Reach of Tamil Militancy: Sri Lanka's Security Predicament

P. K. Rao

Strategic Affairs

No. 0025/ Issue: August 1, 2001


Greed and grievance in civil war, Volume 1
Paul Collier, Anke Hoeffler
Policy, Research working paper WPS 2355
World Bank Development Research Group
May 31, 2000


Forward visibility

Don’t Leave Home Without It

Vans Air Force Net



Innehållsförteckning till SFFs publikationer från 1962

Uppdaterad 2009-03-05



30 år sedan op. Biafra Babies, 5/1999

Operation Biafra Babies II, 6/1999


International and Regional Implications of the Sri Lankan Tamil Insurgency

Rohan Gunaratna, British Chevening Scholar UK

2 December 1998



Gerillapilot i Biafra INB (Guerrilla Pilot in Biafra)

av Gunnar Haglund

Allt om hobby AB (All about hobby)

ISBN 91-85496-23-5

Swedish with English summary


National Library citation


Operation Biafra Babies: The Swede Carl Gustaf Von Rosen and the Biafran Air Force

The Swedish military aviation page

Text from "Gerillapilot i Biafra" by Gunnar Haglund, 1988

Text last updated 1993 OCT 27


Gordon Housworth

InfoT Public  Infrastructure Defense Public  Risk Containment and Pricing Public  Strategic Risk Public  Terrorism Public  


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