Missing aircraft: Navy ship picks up sonar signals

Missing aircraft: Navy ship picks up sonar signals

The underwater receiver of a survey ship of the Indian Navy picked up signals believed to be coming from the sonar locator beacon of the Coast Guard’s Dornier aircraft which went missing over the Bay of Bengal five days ago.

The hope of locating the missing aircraft brightened further after an oil spill was spotted near the area where the aircraft went off the radar while flying along Tamil Nadu coast and Palk Bay on a routine surveillance mission.

“The INS Sandhyak has detected intermittent Tx (transmission), likely to be from the SLB (Sonar Locating Beacon) of the missing aircraft,” Sitanshu Kar, spokesperson of the Ministry of Defence, posted on Twitter. “Multi-coloured oil seen in concentric circles indicating oozing of oil in area under focus,” he informed in another tweet. The aircraft, with three crew members on board, went off the radar at 9:23 pm on Monday after taking off from Chennai for a surveillance mission.

The INS Sandhyak’s underwater receiver picked up signals of 37.5 GHz frequency near the same location where the aircraft went off the radar.

The sample of oil collected from seawater was sent for tests to confirm if the spill was the result of leakage of fuel from the aircraft.

A similar oil spill was reported on Thursday, but tests by Indian Oil Corporation confirmed that the sample did not contain fuel.

Officials in the Ministry of Defence said the Indian Navy would soon deploy its submarine INS Sindhudhvaj to look for the missing aircraft.

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