Assets of the Indian Navy,Indian Coast Guard and IAF have been deployed in a coordinated search of thearea in South Andaman Sea for the missing Malaysian Airliner. Indian Navy hasbeen nominated as the lead service for the coordination of the operation. Thejoint effort is being coordinated from Maritime Operations Centre of the IndianNavy at New Delhi.
Specific areas have beenallocated by the Malaysian authorities for search by Indian ships and aircraft.Presently, two ships of Indian Navy, INS Saryu and INS Kumbhir are combing thedesignated areas in South Andaman Sea. INS Kesari has replaced INS Kumbhir at around1500h today for the search as it is also carrying an integral helicopter. In addition, two Coast Guard vessels are alsocarrying out search along the coastline. Two Dornier aircraft of Indian Navy andCoast Guard are also carrying out aerial search in the vicinity of the Andamancoastline.
The Malaysian authoritieshave also requested for a search in the Bay of Bengal, expanse of which isapprox. 9000 sq km (15 km X 600Km). This area is approx. 900 km due West of Port Blair. Search in this area wouldbe undertaken by the resources of Eastern Naval Command.
TheJoint Operations Room at Port Blair has been activated to monitor the progressof the search operations. The Commander-in-Chief Andaman and Nicobar Commandhas been nominated as the Overall Force Commander of the Indian Forces.