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India: The wreckage of the plane missing in 2016 was found at sea

India: The wreckage of the plane missing in 2016 was found at sea

The Indian Ministry of Defense announced on Friday that it had found plane wreckage in the sea, “most likely” an Indian military plane that disappeared in 2016 with 29 people on board.

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“This discovery at the potential crash site, without any other record of missing aircraft in the same area, indicates that the wreckage most likely belongs to an IAF (Indian Air Force) AN-32 aircraft. (Editor’s note) that crashed” in July 2016 above, the ministry said. In a statement, the Bay of Bengal.

The Russian-made Antonov An-32 plane, which took off from a base near Chennai, southeastern India, heading to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, disappeared a quarter of an hour after its last contact with the control tower, in July 2016.

Major searches conducted at that time failed to find his trace.

The Defense Ministry said a deep-sea drone exploring the ocean floor in the Bay of Bengal found the wreckage of the ill-fated plane at a depth of 3,400 meters, about 140 nautical miles (310 kilometers) south of Chennai, the Tamil capital. Call out.

The An-32 can fly for four hours without needing to refuel and is the most widely used transport aircraft by the Indian Air Force, but it has been subject to many accidents and technical malfunctions.

Before the 2016 disaster, one of the worst An-32 accidents occurred in 1999: the plane crashed near New Delhi airport with 20 people on board, plus three civilians on the ground.

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In 2016, an Israeli Air Force source told AFP that radar data from the missing plane showed that it made a sharp turn to the left before quickly losing altitude.

Indian Defense Minister General Bipin Rawat was killed in 2021 along with 12 others when their Russian-made Mi-17 helicopter crashed in Tamil Nadu state.

The following year, two pilots were killed when their Soviet-era MiG-21 fighter plane crashed during a training sortie in Rajasthan.

Last year, two Russian Sukhoi Su-30s and a French Mirage 2000 collided in the air during exercises south of New Delhi, killing one of the pilots.

The Air Force is gradually renewing its fleet, part of which still dates back to the 1960s.

Experts believe that the delay in refurbishing this outdated equipment threatens to jeopardize India's national security.