Navy to take ONGC’s help to salvage helicopter wreckage

April 6th, 2009 - 6:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, April 6 (IANS) Unable to salvage the wreckage of a Naval helicopter, that had crashed off Goa last month, the Indian Navy has sought expertise from the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) in recovering the debris from the seabed.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the inauguration of facilities at the INS Hansa for parking MIG 29 fighter planes, being acquired by the Indian Navy from Russia, commander in chief of the Western Naval Command Vice Admiral J.S. Bedi, said that the operation to salvage the downed Kamov-28 helicopter would be carried out next month.

The copter carrying three pilots had crashed into the Arabian Sea, approximately 22 nautical miles off Goa, on March 25.

“The ONGC would be lending the Indian Navy special diving equipment and other marine gear essential for salvaging the entire wreck from the bottom of the sea,” Bedi said.

He also said that the board of enquiry, which was initiated to probe the crash, would clarify as to the exact cause of the accident.

“Once the aircraft is salvaged, the board of inquiry will also be able to analyse the engine and a clear picture would evolve,” he said.

The parking of the MIG 29 fighter planes at the base is part of the massive expansion plan for the naval facility over the next few years. Bedi said that all the 16 MIG 29s were expected to arrive at INS Hansa by mid 2010.

“Out of the 16 planes, 12 are strike aircrafts, while the rest will be used for training the pilots,” Bedi said, adding that Indian fighter pilots and technicians were already being trained in Russia about the nuances of the MIG 29.

Bedi also said that these planes would be stationed on board the INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier, which would be commissioned into the Indian Navy within the next two years.

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