• Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

Missing history unfold: Indian Air Force An-32 aircraft that went missing in 2016 found after 8 years

An Indian  Air Force An-32 aircraft (registration K-2743), had gone missing over the Bay of Bengal on 22 July 2016 during an op mission. 29 Personnel were on board this flight. Large scale Search and Rescue operations by aircraft and ships could not locate any missing personnel or the aircraft debris.

The National Institute of Ocean Technology which functions under the aegis of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, had recently deployed an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) with deep sea exploration capability at the last known location of the missing An-32. This search was conducted at a depth of 3400 m using multiple payloads, including a multi-beam SONAR (Sound Navigation and Ranging), synthetic aperture SONAR and high resolution photography.

Analysis of search images had indicated the presence of debris of a crashed aircraft on the sea bed approximately, 140 nautical miles (approx. 310 Km) from the Chennai coast. The search images were scrutinised and found to be conforming with an An-32 aircraft. This discovery at the probable crash site, with no other recorded history of any other missing aircraft report in the same area, points to the debris as possibly belonging to the crashed IAF An-32 (K-2743).

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