Search operation for missing AN-32 aircraft on full swing, say Navy, IAF

New Delhi, July 23 : The Indian Navy and Indian Air Force on Saturday maintained that the search and rescue operations for the missing Indian Air force AN-32 aircraft was on full swing. Indian Navy PRO D.K. Sharma told ANI that so far, 13 types of ships have been deployed, including six coast guard's warships, five UH 3H helicopters and two Coast Guard Donniers in between Chennai's Tambram Port to Port Blair. "Nothing is being discounted; we have started a multi-pronged kind of a search. We are covering every bit, we are going to start a systematic and scientific search, we will also place our ships to different areas sooner," he said. He added that specific directions from the Government of India and Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar have been given to the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force to search the missing aircraft. Earlier today, the Defence Minister visited Tambaram air base near Chennai to monitor the operation. Meanwhile, IAF PRO Wing Commander Anupam Banerjee ruled out possibility of the aircraft developing a technical snag. "Every plane is bound to have any technical problems. We have a book called Form 700, it is a technical document, whereby we record each and every technical snag we encounter in the plane. We have a technical staff who asses the complainants written in the form and redress the problems accordingly, when they are fully satisfied that a particular aircraft is air worthy then only it is airborne," he said. He added that it would be premature to reach any conclusion. AN-32 military aircraft went missing yesterday while flying from Chennai to Port Blair with 29 people on board. Meanwhile, the Defence authorities have already informed of the incident to the families of the 6 crew members and the 23 other personnel. A submarine has also rushed to the probable area. The signals of the locator beacon of the aircraft hold the key to the search operation.