The wreckage of the missing Indian Air Force (IAF) Sukhoi-30 fighter jet has been found close to the last known position of the aircraft, news agency ANI reported. The development comes after search operations continued for three consecutive days. However, there was no information on the missing two pilots. According to reports, debris was found in dense forest area near the China border. “Wreckage found. Close to the last known position of aircraft. As of now weather is bad and the place has dense foliage. Further update follows,” said the IAF in an official statement.
The Sukhoi jet had gone missing after taking off from the Tezpur Salonibari air force station in Assam on Tuesday on a routine training sortie. The aircraft had lost radar and radio contact near the China border within less than an hour of its take-off.
As part of the massive search operation, Su-30 and C-130 aircraft with electro-optical payload and ALH helicopters had been pressed into service. In addition, more personnel were also deployed to the existing four ground parties of IAF personnel, nine teams of the Indian Army and two teams of the state administration.
The IAF has lost at least seven of the 240 Sukhoi-30MKIs till now since its induction. This is the second time that a Sukhoi-30 of the Tezpur base has met with trouble. Earlier in 2015, a Sukhoi-30 had crashed close to Laokhowa wildlife sanctuary in Nagaon district.