New search and rescue systems for Indian military aircraft

By SP's Special Correspondent

October 25, 2012: Troubled by the inordinate time it takes in determining the location of a crashed aircraft, sometimes with a potentially human cost as well, the IAF has decided to go in for a large number of search and rescue systems. A global bid is being formulated at this time, and is likely to be a large tri-services effort for all aircraft in service.

Reports suggest that the equipment being scouted will involve a search and rescue module on all fighters, transports and helicopters of all three services, and will also include portable modules that will be part of all units, allowing for quick reaction during an emergency or accident. Sources say the equipment will include the now-standard ability to detach and float to the surface in the event of an accident over water—a mandatory requirement for naval aircraft. In the last two years, on two occasions, the IAF has had to spend days, if not weeks, hunting for crash sites, forced to keep the status of crew 'missing' since their fate could not be conclusively established.