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Parrikar denies ELT on AN-32 failed, admits to ‘false leads’

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar refuted a senior Coast Guard official’s claim that the AN 32’s Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) had failed - a repeat of what allegedly happened when a Coast Guard Dornier aircraft with three crew members on board crashed a year ago.

Parrikar denies ELT on AN-32 failed, admits to ‘false leads’
A file photo of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar with Navy officers

New Delhi

“I think the submarine finally located the Dornier with the same beeps. Initially, sound might not have come due to depth of water but when the submarine went in there, they identified the location. Can’t say whether it is operating or not now but we have not been able to hear it,” he said in New Delhi. “A lot of resources are in place. All leads till now have turned out to be bad. There were some false leads,” said Parrikar. He said that Sagar Nidhi, a research vessel of the National Institute of Ocean Technology, has been called from Mauritius to help in the search. 

Sagar Nidhi has a dynamic positioning system, which keeps its position stable and this is required for oceanographic research. Meanwhile, sources in the Air Force said weather could have played a role in the AN 32’s disappearance on July 22. “The weather was bad but the pilot had taken the required steps,” said a senior official.

‘Verifying 4 to 5 signals received in Bay of Bengal’

There are 4 or 5 “small” leads with regard to the AN-32 aircraft of the IAF which went missing five days ago with 29 people on board, the government told the Rajya Sabha as it faced questions over the issue. During the question hour, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was asked about the status of the plane which disappeared during a flight from Tambaram airbase in Tamil Nadu to Port Blair on Friday last. “There are 4-5 small leads and attempts are being made to verify them,” he said, adding, however, that there has been no confirmed finding yet. Asserting that the government had spared no efforts in locating the plane, Parrikar said the government had used satellite imagery and deployed 30 ships and submarines for the purpose.

CAG raps IAF over transport fleet

The government auditor has rapped the Indian Air Force for underutilisation of the operational capabilities of the ten C-17 Globemaster transport planes it had procured from the US for over Rs 18,645 crore. Critical of both IAF and Boeing, the CAG, in a report submitted on Tuesday in Parliament, said the operational capabilities of C-17 aircraft were underutilised partially due to non-availability of runway and lack of ground equipment at various bases.

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