Millennium Post

Malaysian PM’s statement raises more questions than answers

Malaysian PM’s statement raises more questions than answers
A well-informed Indian Navy (IN) source said on Tuesday that the only corroborative evidence Razak had to support his statement are the pictures of debris sent by the satellites of the Australians, the French and the Chinese. Beyond these visuals, there is no material evidence the Malaysians had to corroborate their statement. For the area in the Indian Ocean have 30-metre waves with gale force winds blowing and no naval vessel have yet been able to reach the location. However, the search for flight MH 370 by the Indian Navy has written another chapter of working with a multi-national naval task force on a humanitarian mission.

Apart from the search in the south Andaman Sea early, from 13 March, when the IN first deployed its assets – surface vessels and aircrafts – the crucial exercise began on what has for the first time been dubbed the ‘southern corridor’ stretching from Subang Air Force base in Malaysia to the site of the probable crash site.

The ministry of defence and the Integrated Defence Services Headquarters had deployed one P8I maritime surveillance aircraft and a C-130J in a surveillance mode – both with full crew complement. They were first deployed to Subang and then was tasked to search what is called ‘block 3 and 4’ of the Southern Corridor. The other navies deployed along with the IN were that of the Chinese, the Japanese, the South Koreans and the US.

‘Till the search was called off on Tuesday, we had to act operationally with all these navies constantly communicating on the international frequency,’ a navy source said. The integrated approach was needed presumably because the Southern Corridor itself, created by the British on the basis of date culled from the INMARSAT, was dubbed with irony ‘ephemeral inputs’.

But a sense of disquiet remains. For, though IN worked in a part of the ocean, 950 nm and 1300 nm respectively, off Subang, it was nowhere close to the actual crash site that was 1270 nm and 1610 nm respectively away. This area was closer to Beijing. When asked about this possibly anomaly, retired vice admiral, Pradeep Kaushiva, director of the National Maritime Foundation (NMF), says he did not see anything amiss. ‘The search is based on the capability of coordination of the IN. The air assets needed to be in close coordination with surface vessels and their own staying power,’ he said.

He explains there is ‘operational desirability’ and ‘operational logic’ involved in all this. He refuses to see any ‘political design’ and says considering the ‘long distance’ of the probable crash site, it was natural that the Australians were better placed for the main operation.
Pinaki Bhattacharya

Pinaki Bhattacharya

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