Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said the government is leaving no stone unturned to find IAF’s missing An-32 aircraft. “There is no confirmed finding, but no resource has been left untapped to conduct the search operation,” Parrikar said in Rajya Sabha. “I want to assure you that An-32 is one of the safest aircraft of the Indian Air Force. There are have been 2 incidents related to it, but it is a very safe transport aircraft of the IAF,” he said. “There are 4-5 small leads with regard to the AN-32 aircraft,” he said.
Even as Parrikar was making his statement, Times Now reported that there may finally have been a breakthrough in the search operations. “Two orange drums have been spotted. Ships have been directed to the spot and the Indian Navy will verify if these objects are from the missing plane,” the channel said. The government has deployed 30 ships and submarines for the purpose of locating the missing aircraft that went missing last Friday with 29 persons onboard. The search operation for the missing AN-32 aircraft, which has been code named ‘Operation Talash’ has entered its fifth day today.
An-32 or the Antonov-32 is light transport multipurpose aircraft. The twin engine turboprop aircraft is of Russian origin. It can take a crew of five people and has the capacity to carry 39 paratroopers or a maximum load of 6.7 tonnes, says the IAF. The plane has a maximum cruise speed of 530 km per hour. IAF has over 100 An-32 aircraft in operation currently.