New Delhi: The Indian Air Force is learned to have intensified its search for the ‘missing’ AN-32 jet that has been off the radar for three days now. IAF issued a statement today that read, “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.”

The IAF AN 23 aircraft had taken off from Assam’s Jorhat at 12.27 p.m. on Monday for the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh’s Shi-Yomi district bordering China and lost contact around 1:30 pm.

On Tuesday, the Indian Navy’s Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft P8i conducted an aerial survey to locate the partly upgraded AN-32 aircraft.

On Wednesday, the IAF pressed into service a SU-30 jet fighter, C130 J, Mi17 and ALH helicopters to trace the missing Russian-origin transporter aircraft that was last seen on Monday afternoon.

The searches were taking place along thickly forested routes between Assam’s Jorhat and Mechuka advanced landing ground in Arunachal Pradesh.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) satellites — CARTOSAT and RISAT — were also taking images of the area. Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command, Air Marshal R.D. Mathur is monitoring the search and rescue operations. He has also interacted with the families of the missing IAF personnel.

In addition, the Army, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Arunachal Police and local communities are trekking on the ground to search for the missing aircraft.

 

With IANS inputs