Special Boat Squadron (Sri Lanka)

Special Boat Squadron
Active 1993 - Present
Country Sri Lanka
Branch Sri Lanka Navy
Type Naval Special Forces
Role Special operations
Maritime Counter-Terrorism
Part of Special operations, Sri Lanka Navy
Nickname(s) SBS
Engagements Sri Lankan Civil War
Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne

The Special Boat Squadron (SBS) (In Sinhalese: "විශේෂ යාත්‍රා බලඝණය" Visesha Yathra Balaghanaya) is the Sri Lanka Navy's elite special forces unit, modeled after the British Special Boat Service, it was raised in 1993 and fought in the Sri Lankan Civil War.

It forms part of the Sri Lanka Special Forces, alongside the Commando Regiment (CR), Special Forces Regiment (SF), and SLAF Special Forces (SLAFSF). Unlike any of the other Sri Lankan special forces units the SBS is a naval special forces unit.


The SBS was modeled after the Special Boat Service of the Royal Navy. In its role as a naval special forces unit it takes up wide variety of operations such as amphibious raids, Maritime Counter-Terrorism, Reconnaissance and target indication, combat swimmer missions and small boat operations. As a Special Forces unit, its role is not limited to water-borne operations. The SBS conducts operations on land, together with the Commando Regiment (CR) and Special Forces Regiment (SF), with regular ground combat units of the Navy and the Army and on many occasions autonomously.

The roles of the Special Boat Squadron are predominantly focused on, but not restricted to,


The SBS was inaugurated on 18 January 1993 at SLNS Elara in Karainagar, Jaffna with two officers and 76 able seamen under the leadership of Lieutenant Commander Ravindra Wijegunaratne. Shortly after completing special training the first Special Boat Squadron consisting of 25 was established. The first operation carried out by the SBS was in November 1993, when it took part in the recapturing of the Navy camp in Pooneryn which had been taken by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The SBS was the first to penetrate the camps defences after the camps capture. The SBS has taken part in many major operations carried out by the Sri Lankan military including operations such as Rivirasa, Dirithara and Agnikheela. The SBS was actively deployed following the resumption of hostilities in 2006

In the final years of the war, SBS small boat units were deployed against Sea Tiger boats and suicide craft, being equipped with various vessels including Arrow speed boats.

Notable members

See also


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