Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Indian Navy's Searcher Mark II Crashlands in Kochi

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) of the Indian Navy crashed due to technical malfunction in Kochi on Wednesday.The aircraft, attached to INS Garuda, the naval air station of the Southern Naval Command, crashed around 7.30 pm outside the runway while it was preparing to land.

The aircraft crashed outside the compound wall of the naval air station near the road and the railway line.Had the UAV crashed into the vital installations nearby _ cargo containers and storage tanks of flammable chemicals _ the consequences would have been disastrous.

A detailed inquiry has been ordered into the incident, a Naval spokesman said. The UAV, a Searcher Mark II-type made in Israel, was meant for a routine sortie _ aerial observation and surveillance. Eyewitnesses said the aircraft broke into pieces on impact. The reason for the crash could be failure of the engine or sensor, sources said.

The Southern Naval Command has more than 10 UAVs belonging to two types - Heron and Searcher II. The UAVs are operated from the shore as well as from ships for better surveillance.

INS Garuda which houses the Navy’s training schools, including the Observer School and the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) School, has an airfield with two runways from which small and medium range maritime aircraft carry out operations ranging from training sorties to search and rescue operations.INS Garuda undertakes regular UAV sorties.........................Source

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