IAF Aircraft on Standby for Malaysian Plane Search Ops

Published: 12th March 2014 05:30 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th March 2014 05:30 PM   |  A+A-


The Indian Air Force today said it  has kept its aircraft on standby for taking part in the search  operations for locating the missing Malaysian plane with 239  people on board.       

"We have kept our aircraft on standby and as soon as we  get a go ahead, we are ready to take off for search operations," an IAF spokesperson said.   

The search area for the IAF is likely to be the Malacca  Straits near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.         

The IAF has its Dornier aircraft along with the Mi-17  helicopters deployed in the Island territory and if the need  be, the Navy can deploy the P-8I and the Tu-142 maritime  surveillance aircraft.             

Malaysia has sought India's assistance to trace its  missing aircraft as the government here initiated the process  of appointing designated people to share information and take  the matter forward.             

The Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 plane, which had five Indians on board, vanished over the South  China Sea on Friday an hour after taking off from Kuala  Lumpur.    

India has a tri-services military command at Andaman and  Nicobar islands and Navy and air force carry out regular  patrols in the area.           

Search and rescue operations which had been mobilised  since early Saturday morning have failed to find the jetliner  in the South China Sea and authorities have expanded the area  of search into the Andaman sea, Malaysian officials said.            

Authorities have put the plane's last known point of  contact with air-traffic control off eastern Malaysia -  roughly midway between Kota Bharu and the southern tip of  Vietnam, flying at 35,000 feet.


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