Hours after AirAsia flight QZ8501 was lost over the Java Sea Sunday, the Indian Navy kept on standby a reconnaissance aircraft and three warships to assist Indonesia in search and rescue (SAR) operations.
Sources said a Boeing P-8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft of the Navy’s Eastern Command was kept on standby at INS Rajali at Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu besides three warships.
— Pranav Kulkarni (@PranavKulkarni) December 28, 2014
“These assets are ready in all respects for deployment s should there be orders from the government to join the search for the missing airliner,” Navy spokesperson Captain D K Sharma said.
Officials said two warships are at Port Blair and a third in Chennai. The ships have been readied for long haul deployment — stocked with necessary equipment, stores — in case a request is received from the Indonesian government for search and rescue operations.
Officials said the flow of action normally follows a request to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) which then approaches the Ministry of Defence for help.