New Delhi: India today joined the global search for the Malayasian aircraft by deploying three warships along with around four surveillance aircraft including the latest P-8I anti-submarine warfare plane.
Three warships have been despatched from Andaman and Nicobar Command including INS Kumbhir and INS Saryu from Navy and Coast Guard Ship Kanaklata Baruah to the areas specified by the Malaysian government, Navy officials said.
The Indian assets also include two Dornier aircraft from the Coast Guard and the Navy along with the P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft from INS Rajali in Tamil Nadu, they said.
The IAF has also kept its surveillance aircraft on standby and they will be despatched to the 35,000 square km area identified by the Malaysian authorities for search operations, they said.
The Indian operations in the task are being handled by the Navy and instructions are being passed to the officials on ground from the Naval headquarters here, they said.
The tri-service Andaman and Nicobar Command is providing the assets for the search operations.
The Navy is also understood to be using its Rukmini surveillance satellite for locating the missing plane.
The ship Sagar deployed in Thai waters is also likely to join the search later on.
The Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 plane, with 239 people including five Indians on board, vanished over the South China Sea on Friday an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur.
Search and rescue operations which had been mobilised since early Saturday morning have failed to find the jetliner in the South China Sea and authorities have expanded the area of search into the Andaman sea, Malaysian officials said.