3 IAF planes to airlift high-tech submarine rescue equipment to Indonesia

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New Delhi, Apr 23 (PTI) Three transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) will transport submarine rescue equipment to Indonesia on Saturday to help the country trace an attack submarine that went missing with 53 people on board, officials said.

The decision to send the equipment came a day after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to his Indonesian counterpart Gen. Prabowo Subianto and assured him of India's full support to Indonesia in tracing the submarine.

According to Indonesian authorities, the KRI Nanggala-402, a German-made submarine, went missing during a military exercise around the Bali Strait on Wednesday.

'In a co-coordinated effort with the Indian Navy for the search and rescue of an Indonesian submarine, one C17 and two IL 76 aircraft of the IAF are airlifting submarine rescue equipment from Mumbai and Visakhapatnam to Indonesia,' an IAF spokesperson said.

He said one C-17 aircraft and one IL-76 from Mumbai and one IL-76 plane from Visakhapatnam will be utilised for the operation.

'The transport aircraft will position at Mumbai and Visakhapatnam on April 23 for the loading of the equipment and fly out to Surbhaya, Indonesia on April 24,' the official said.

Navy officials said the 'intervention system' being airlifted to Indonesia is part of the Indian Navy's second deep submergence rescue vessel (DSRV).

They said the 'intervention system' is capable of tracing any submarine at 'great depth'.

The Indian Navy has already deployed a DSRV to support the Indonesian Navy's search-and-rescue mission for the missing submarine.

The Indian Navy sent the DSRV following an alert it received through the International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office (ISMERLO) about the missing Indonesian submarine.

India is among a few countries globally that are capable of undertaking search-and-rescue operations for a disabled submarine through a DSRV.

Under the framework of comprehensive strategic partnership between India and Indonesia, the two navies share a strong partnership of operational cooperation. PTI MPB RC