IAF spokesperson Anupam Banerjee on Tuesday that the search operation for the Indian Air Force (IAF) AN-32 aircraft that went missing Monday by choppers have ceased for the day, however, night sensors and ground teams will continue the operation throughout the night.
Indian Air Force tweets thread, says “IAF has intensified efforts to locate the missing AN-32. Despite challenges posed by vegetation, inhospitable terrain & poor weather,the search has been expanded.All leads from airborne sensors are being closely assessed and followed-up with search by aircraft & ground teams. Search by IAF and Indian Army helicopters was adversely affected by weather during the day today. However, supported by Indian Army, Indian Navy, Police and State Administration the search efforts by ground teams and airborne sensors will continue through the night.”
The AN-32 transport aircraft, with 13 people on board, went missing after taking off from Assam’s Jorhat and was scheduled to arrive at Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh at 01:30pm on Monday. The aircraft took off at 12.25 PM and lost contact at around 1 PM with the ground station.
Indian Navy aircraft Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft P8i and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) satellites have joined the search to locate the aircraft. CARTOSAT and RISAT satellites of ISRO are being used to capture images of the area.
According to News agency PTI, IAF sources Wednesday have said that additional assets including two Sukhoi-30 aircraft have been deployed on the third day to locate the missing plane apart from the fleet of C-130J and AN-32 planes and two Mi-17 and two ALH helicopters.
The ground forces included troops from the Army, Indo Tibetan Border Police and state police. The two Sukhoi-30 and two C-130J aircraft will carry out night missions, they said.
The AN-32 is a Russian origin aircraft and the IAF currently operates a sizeable number of it. It is a twin engine turboprop transport aircraft.