India joins global search for Malaysian aircraft

They were ostensibly searching for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight that went missing late last week while flying over the South China Sea.

By Thursday afternoon the government also decided to join the multinational effort for searching the missing aircraft. A Navy official here confirmed an announcement originally made in Port Blair by the joint command that three navy ships, one coast guard vessel and a P8I intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft and a Dornier also will be teaming up with the other navies in the search effort.

The ships that are being deployed are INS Saryu (offshore patrol vessel), INS Kesri (landing ship tank large), INS Kumbhir (landing ship tank medium) and ICGS Kanaklata Baruah (fast attack craft).
Royal Malaysian Navy has demarcated an area between 130 nm by 130 nm or an area of 35,000 square kms where the navies of various navies will congregate in search of any signs of remnants of the aircraft that disappeared over it.

Till Thursday mid-evening, the Indian Navy sources could not say which other navies will be taking part in the effort.  But a well-informed source said that it is difficult to predict whether the Chinese navy will participate in the effort, because the location, which is 1,500 nm away from its shores.
The search location is 76 nm from Campbell Bay in east and 276 nm from Port Blair.

A highly placed Navy source here in New Delhi clarified that while the naval operation will consist of joint forces ‘when required,’ the lead service will remain the navy. While the Andaman-based joint command has fleet control, operational control is vested with Maritime Operations Centre in New Delhi.
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