First Ballistic Rubber Sample in Sri Lanka

The locally manufactured and newly-developed ballistic rubber sample for firing which saw the light, consequent upon a series of scientific researches, spearheaded by the Centre for Research and Development of the Ministry of Defence was formally presented and introduced to the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake on Wednesday at the Army Headquarters by the researcher, Major N. A. B. M. S. Nishshanka of the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps, attached to the CRD.

These newly- produced ballistic products, much-needed for tri-service fire training sessions are costly and generally imported every year but these new local products, now ready to be released for indoor firing ranges are to be first tested during the proposed Special Forces Capacity Building Facility at the 3rd Special Force Regiment, in Vavuniya before they were introduced to the Sri Lanka Air Force and the Navy as well in the near future.

Making this much-wanted and timely need a reality, the CRD, headed by its Director General Dr. Tiran De Silva developed this low-cost ballistic rubber sheet for the use of Sri Lankan Armed Forces. The success was achieved as a result of strong researches that lasted for more than 6 months, followed by a period of 5 more months of continuous testing to upgrade the quality and the durability of the end product.

The recently test-fired final ballistic sample was proved to be sufficient to contain a directly fired high velocity shot from a close range, such as 6 inches. With the improved elasticity and strength to absorb higher number of shots using a synthetic and natural rubber mixture, the rubber product finally proved to be very economical during the final test firing while assuring the maximum safety to the firers, the Commander of the Army was told.

The project was launched as per directions of the Commander of the Army with the blessings of Ministry of Defence officials who have been generous to provide the CRD with required assistance, considering the importance of such researches.

The Commander after closely inspecting the product praised the CRD for its innovative thinking and the manufacture of the product which could now be used for training purposes, saving a big chunk of expenditure for the country.

Tactical live firing training is an important aspect of the Armed Forces in general and the Special Forces and the Commandos in particular since training pursued using ballistic rubber sheets provides an enhanced safety for live-firing exercises in enclosed areas.

Presently, ballistic rubber is used for training purposes by the military in the world, such as the US, UK, Israel, etc. However, the use of ballistics rubber has remained not affordable for the Sri Lankan military due to high cost factor and its non-availability in the local market. The need of regular replacements and their higher maintenance cost also prevented the Army from their use for training sessions.

The innovator, Major N. A. B. M. S Nishshanka is a specialist in ballistics and an expert in small arms and ammunition, and a respected officer in the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps. During the formal occasion, the researcher was joined by Dr. Chandana Perera, Head of Nuclear Biological and Chemical Wing, CRD - MoD.

(SL Army Media)

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