India has further intensified its search efforts for the missing Malaysian Airlines MH 370 with additional naval and air assets being deployed for searching an expanded area in the Central and East Bay of Bengal.
The third day of Indian search efforts saw the deployment of two recently acquired P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft of the Indian Navy and one C 130 J aircraft of the Indian Air Force in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea. The Short Range Maritime Reconnaissance Dornier aircraft of the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard have also been extensively deployed for the ongoing search operations.
Six ships (three each from the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard) have been deployed, with the Indian Naval Ships Kesari and Saryu continuing their search as part of the International group in the Andaman Sea. In addition to Coast Guard ships Kanaklata Barua and Bhikaji Cama in the Andaman Sea, CGS Sagar has also been tasked for undertaking search in the Malacca Straits.
Eastern Naval Command has also provided aircraft assets including the P8I aircraft for search in the Bay of Bengal. Additional ships and aircraft are standby for augmenting the search. So far, no sighting or detection has been reported by any of the units.
As the lead Service, the Indian Navy has maintained continuous liaison with the Operations Centres of the Royal Malaysian Navy and the Royal Malaysian Air Force so as to coordinate the ongoing multi-national efforts involving over 14 countries, 45 ships and 60 aircraft. The Indian Navy has coordinated search over an area spanning more than 2,50,000 sq km in the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal thus far and search operations are expected to continue.