18:23 GMT14 June 2021
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    An advanced light helicopter (ALH) of the Indian Air Force with three persons on board went missing since 3.50 pm (Indian Standard Time) near Sagalee in the Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pradesh.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — The helicopter was on a flood relief mission in areas where more than hundred thousands of people have been displaced in the states of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh due to heavy floods and several others are still bearing the brunt of flash floods.

    “Weather turbulent in North-East. I’m safe but whole state machinery geared up to locate IAF ALH chopper missing almost at same time,” Kiren Rijuju, India’s Minister of State for Home Affairs, said after he escaped unhurt as another helicopter made an emergency landing in the northeastern part of the country.

    Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu and state government were mobilizing local people to locate the missing IAF helicopter which was on a rescue mission in Arunachal Pradesh.

    The Indian Air Force lost two of its pilots in a crash of its frontline aircraft Sukhoi-30MKI in May this year. The jet crashed near the China border. The reason behind the accident is yet to be disclosed.

    The ALH, Dhruv, is a 5.5-ton class multi-role and multi-mission helicopters developed by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, which is being used by the Air Force, the Army and the Navy for utility and attack roles in large numbers.

    The Indian Army has planned to deploy a squadron of 10 HAL Dhruv Mk-IVs in the north-eastern part of Assam which will further go up simultaneously with additional helicopter bases which are going to be operational in coming months along the eastern border.

    India supplied seven Dhruv helicopters to Ecuador, of which four had crashed between 2009 and 2015. Lately, Ecuador stopped operation of remaining helicopters and decided to sell them to other countries. However, the Indian government has blamed Ecuador for the high loss rate on the Latin America operator. India said that it did not find any inherent design deficiency in the India-built aircraft.

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    Tags:
    helicopter, Indian Air Force, Arunachal Pradesh, India, China
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