New Delhi, July 10: The Indian Air Force (IAF) will soon install modern search and rescue (SAR) equipment on transport planes and helicopters. The new procurement will enhance the elite security force's capability to detect lost aircraft. The new system will be installed on IAF aircraft weeks after June 3 Antonov AN-32 air crash in Arunachal Pradesh, which claimed lives of 13 IAF soldiers. However, the deal was signed almost two year before the deadly crash. IAF AN-32 Aircraft Crash: Names Of Indian Air Force Air Warriors Who Lost Their Lives.
According to a report published in Hindustan times, Israeli defence electronics company Elbit Systems is offering this service to the IAF at a cost of USD 45 million. Emergency locator transmitters (ELT) and airborne locator systems (ALS) will be fitted on various kinds of aircraft including Mi-17, Cheetah and Chetak helicopters. Currently, the transport aircraft of the IAF are equipped with rudimentary SAR systems.
According to the report, published in the daily, Elbit Systems will also supply personal rescue beacons (PRB) to the IAF. PRB is a device carried by fighter pilots in their emergency vests, in case of an emergency such as ejection or a crash. The IAF is reported procuring 350 ELT, 160 ALS and more than 4,300 PRB. IAF to Procure 18 Su-30 MKI & 21 Mig-29 Fighter Jets From Russia.
On June 3, AN-32 aircraft of the IAF crashed in Arunachal Pradesh, killing all the 13 occupants of the plane. The AN-32 aircraft had disappeared from the radar after taking off on June 3 from the Jorhat airbase in Assam. The plane was scheduled to land at the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh's Shi-Yomi district bordering China.