An Indian military aircraft lands as Indian air force security personnel are seen outside Tambaram Air Force station in Chennai, July 23, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
A search operation in the Bay of Bengal for an Indian military plane that went missing earlier on Friday has entered its third day.
Sixteen ships, a submarine and six aircraft continued to search for the plane on Sunday.
The plane, with 29 people on board, disappeared on a routine flight to remote islands in the region. The Russian-built AN-32 was on its way to Port Blair, the capital of India’s Andaman and Nicobar islands, when it vanished from radars.
Indian air force and navy officials said no signs or any wreckage of the plane had been found so far.
India’s Defense Ministry announced on Saturday that the search for the air force plane had been hampered by choppy seas and thick monsoon clouds in the search area.
Local media channels, however, reported that clear skies and improved weather on Sunday could provide for the resumption of the search.
An Indian air force helicopter approaches to land at Tambaram Air Force station in Chennai after taking part in search operations for a missing military plane, July 23, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
The Times of India reported that, earlier this month, the missing plane had witnessed what officials called several “minor” technical problems.
The AN-32, which is used by the Indian military to deploy troops and cargo, has a relatively good flight safety record despite being old and — by some accounts — outdated.
India has made efforts to make its own home-made military aircraft, but delays and technical shortcomings have hindered the goal.
In 2013, a military helicopter crashed in northern India, killing all 20 people on board.