"We have kept our aircraft on standby and as soon as we get a go ahead, we are ready to take off for search operations," an IAF spokesperson was quoted by an agency.

The search area for the IAF is likely to be the Malacca Straits near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The IAF has its Dornier aircraft along with the Mi-17 helicopters deployed in the Island territory and if the need be, the Navy can deploy the P-8I and the Tu-142 maritime surveillance aircraft.
India has a tri-services military command at Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Navy and air force carry out regular patrols in the area.

Malaysia searches in Andaman Sea

As the massive 12-nation exercise involving 42 ships and 39 aircraft entered the fifth day, Malaysian civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said its planes were now also searching in the southern part of the Andaman Sea.
Rahman confirmed that defence radar picked up an "indication" that the plane may have turned back from its intended flight path over the South China Sea. He said this was why the search operation had been extended to the Andaman Sea.
US Federal Aviation Authority and US National Transport Safety Board have been roped in to help track the missing aircraft.
The Beijing-bound Boeing 777-200 plane was carrying 227 passengers, including five Indians and one Indian-origin Canadian, and 12 crew members when it mysteriously vanished from radar screens an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, triggering speculation that it may have been hijacked, crashed into sea or disintegrated mid-air.
"We will not spare any effort to find the missing plane. The search has been extended to two areas and we are now searching nearly 27,000 square nautical miles – 12,425 square nautical miles in the Straits of Malacca and 14,440 square nautical miles in the South China Sea," Malaysia's Minister of Defence and acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters at a crowded press conference.
"Forty two ships and 39 aircraft have now been deployed in the search for MH370. Twelve countries have now joined the search, with India, Japan and Brunei being the latest to join the team," he said.

Confusing Information

Malaysia has been criticised for giving conflicting and confusing information on the last known location of aircraft.

Earlier on Wednesday, air force chief Rodzali had denied saying military radar had tracked MH370 flying over the Strait of Malacca.

Vietnam briefly scaled down search operations in waters off its southern coast, saying it was receiving scanty and confusing information from Malaysia over where the aircraft may have headed after it lost contact with air traffic control.

Hanoi later said the search - now in its fifth day - was back on in full force and was even extending on to land. China also said its air force would sweep areas in the sea, clarifying however that no searches over land were planned.

"As long as the plane is not found, we would continue doing our mission," Vo Van Tuan, spokesman for Vietnam Search and Rescue Committee, told reporters in Hanoi.

"We should always keep up hope, there can be miracles, humans can survive for a long time in difficult conditions. We must not give up hope that the missing people are still alive."


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