Army, Navy Set to Launch Malaysian Airliner Search
President Pranab Mukherjee has written to Malaysian King Abdul Halim Mu’adzam offering assistance in locating the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft MH370, even as the Indian Navy and Air Force were readying to launch a search on Thursday over the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, for which coordinates have been received from Kuala Lumpur.
Hours after the President got in touch with the Malaysian king, India allowed Malaysia to search for the missing aircraft in the airspace over Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
“The Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard are likely to join in the search operation for the missing aircraft. Andaman and Nicobar Command is on standby. Nod from the Ministry of Defence is awaited,” Col Harmeet Singh, Public Relations Officer of Andaman Nicobar Command, told Express.
Col Singh said Australia and New Zealand are also likely to be permitted to conduct a search over the Andaman Sea. “Malaysia permitted, Australia and New Zealand likely. For the others, orders awaited,” Col Singh added.
The two Indian armed forces’ aircraft and warships based in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands would search for the aircraft at the break of dawn on Thursday, said Indian government sources.
Mukherjee in his message to the Malaysian king on Tuesday said, “Our officials have been in constant contact with Malaysian authorities in this regard. We appreciate the efforts of the government of Malaysia to locate the missing aircraft and are ready to provide any help needed.” The content of the letter was released to the media on Wednesday.