The search is still on for pilot Cdr Nishant Singh who has been missing since a MiG-29K fighter aircraft of the Indian Navy crashed into the Arabian sea, a Western Naval Command spokesperson said on Saturday. “More surface and air assets have joined the search for missing pilot Cdr Nishant Singh,” the spokesperson said.
Naval assets such as the P-8I surveillance aircraft and Indian Air Force C-130J Super Hercules special operations aircraft among others have been pressed into the search operation.
Another pilot, who went missing after the incident has been found. The Navy has ordered an inquiry into the incident.
“MiG-29K trainer aircraft operating at sea ditched at about 1700 hrs on 26 Nov 20. One pilot safely recovered, search for the second pilot Cdr Nishant Singh, by air and surface units is in progress. An inquiry to investigate the incident has been ordered,” a Navy spokesperson said in a tweet on Friday.
The Indian Navy has a fleet of over 40 MiG-29K fighter aircraft based out of Goa and also operated from the INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier.
The MiG-29K is an all-weather carrier-based multirole fighter aircraft developed by Russian aerospace company Mikoyan (MiG). The Indian Navy had procured a fleet of 45 MiG-29Ks from Russia over a decade back at a cost of around USD 2 billion to operate from INS Vikramaditya.
INS Vikramaditya was part of the second phase of the Malabar exercise involving navies of India, the US, Australia
, and Japan. The MIG-29K fleet onboard the aircraft carrier was also involved in the mega naval drill that took place from November 17 to 20