India dispatches two military aircraft for missing plane’s search

New Delhi, March 21: India Friday dispatched a long endurance transport aircraft of Indian Air Force and a maritime surveillance aircraft of the navy to augment the search and rescue operations for the missing Malaysian airliner MH 370.

An defence ministry release said that the government has pledged its full support to the Malaysian government in the ongoing multi-national search and rescue effort for the missing airliner.

“The ministry of defence approved the deployment of Indian Armed Forces assets for the purpose. Accordingly a C-130 Hercules of the Indian Air Force and a long range Maritime Surveillance Aircraft P8 I of the Indian Navy have been dispatched to augment the search and rescue operations today (Friday),” the release said.

It said that the arrcraft left earlier in the day and have reached Subang Airport close to Kuala Lumpur in the evening.

Both the aircraft are capable of carrying out search over large areas and have adequate endurance to be airborne for long durations.

“The crew is being briefed by the Malaysian authorities. Once the search areas are indicated, these aircraft will commence the operations from tomorrow onwards. HQ Integrated Defence Staff is in touch with Indian defence attache at Malaysia and coordinating the operations that are likely continue for some time,” the release said.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished mysteriously about an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur March 8.

The plane was scheduled to land in Beijing at 6.30 a.m. the same day. The 227 passengers on board included five Indians, 154 Chinese and 38 Malaysians.