The mystery surrounding the missing IAF plane has finally been solved after nearly eight years, as some parts of its wreckage were located at a depth of nearly 3.4 km in the Bay of Bengal recently. The ill-fated AN-32 transport plane, with 29 personnel onboard, was en route to the Port of Blair after taking off from Tambaram airbase in Chennai on July 22, 2016, when it went missing.
Providing details on Friday, the Defence Ministry said that a scrutiny of the images captured by an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) deployed by the National Institute of Ocean Technology recently confirmed that the wreckage located 310 km off the Chennai coast is of an AN-32 aircraft.
“The search images were scrutinised and found to be conforming with an AN-32 aircraft. This discovery at the probable crash site, with no other recorded history of any other missing aircraft report in the same area, points to the debris as possibly belonging to the crashed IAF AN-32,” the ministry said in a statement.
The IAF’s AN-32 aircraft with registration number K-2743 went missing over the Bay of Bengal on July 22, 2016, during a mission.
One of the most extensive search and rescue missions in the country, involving aircraft and ships, could not locate any missing personnel or the wreckage of the plane since it disappeared.