New Delhi, July 26 (IANS) Defence Minsiter Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday described the AN-32 as one of the safest aircraft with the IAF and said all available resources were being used to find the missing plane.
Responding to a question in Rajya Sabha, he said every small lead was being followed but there was no confirmed finding as yet of the AN-32 that went missing on July 22 with 29 people on board.
“An unfortunate incident has taken place but we have put in all resources. As of now there is no confirmed finding,” the minister said.
“There were four to five links noticed. We are trying to find out whether they are misleading or they have some meaning … but no resources have been left.
“We have used satellite imagery, surveillance, P8I aircraft is being used extensively, almost 30 ships including of Coast Guard and Indian Navy and merchant ships are there. A submarine is in the area,” he said.
“We are getting a deep sea rescue vessel also,” he said.
Asked about reports of technical glitches in the aircraft, the minister said: “I will not like to comment on that but I can say very clearly to the member and everyone this (AN-32) is one of the safest aircraft IAF flies.
“There have been only two reported accidents in the last 10 years. What you are talking of are small minor issues that crop up every time you fly and they are rectified,” he said.
The aircraft went off the radar on July 22 morning over the Bay of Bengal half-an-hour after it took off from Chennai for Port Blair.
The recorded transcript of air traffic radar showed the last pickup of the aircraft was 151 nautical miles east of Chennai when it was observed to have carried out a left turn with rapid loss of height from 23,000 feet.