Updated January 12th, 2024 at 17:08 IST

Wreckage of Missing IAF An-32 Aircraft Found 310 Kms off Chennai Coast

The An-32 aircraft had vanished during a mission over the Bay of Bengal on July 22 2016, with 29 personnel on board.

Reported by: Kriti Dhingra
The An-32 aircraft had vanished during a mission over the Bay of Bengal on July 22 2016, with 29 personnel on board. (File photo used for representation only) | Image:(File photo used for representation only)
Advertisement

NEW DELHI: In a significant development, the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the Indian Air Force (IAF) An-32 aircraft with registration K-2743 in 2016 has been partially solved, as debris from the missing plane has been located approximately 310 kilometers (approx. 140 nautical miles) from the Chennai coast, the Ministry of Defence said in a release on Friday.

The An-32 aircraft had vanished during a mission over the Bay of Bengal on July 22 2016, with 29 personnel on board. After years of uncertainty, the breakthrough came with the deployment of an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) equipped with deep-sea exploration capabilities at the last known location of the aircraft.

Advertisement

The search operation, conducted at a depth of 3400 meters, utilized a range of advanced technologies, including multi-beam SONAR (Sound Navigation and Ranging), synthetic aperture SONAR, and high-resolution photography, Republic has learnt. These sophisticated tools played a crucial role in the detection of wreckage on the sea bed.

Analysis of the search images has confirmed the presence of debris consistent with that of an An-32 aircraft as the scrutinized images align with the features of the ill-fated flight.

Advertisement

The discovery at the probable crash site is particularly significant, given that there is no recorded history of any other missing aircraft in the same area. The recent revelation will serve as a step-forward in understanding the fate of the aircraft and its occupants, as further investigations to uncover more details and determine the circumstances leading to the disappearance and subsequent crash are likely to be launched in this regard.

 

Advertisement

Published January 12th, 2024 at 16:38 IST