Turkey seeks vehicle to access downed aircraft
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish military boats and aircraft have been searching for the two missing pilots and wreckage of a Turkish jet downed by the Syrian forces on June 22.Ankara is looking to acquire an underwater vehicle to access the wreckage of an aircraft that was shot down by Syria last week, according to a Turkish official.
Turkey has been in contact with countries and international companies that can search below a depth of 1,000 meters, which is greater than the capability of the navy’s present Çeşme boat, the official told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday.
Turkey is looking for a submersible vehicle that can descend to a depth of 1,300 meters and map out the bottom of the sea.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry is in touch with countries that could have deep scout vehicles. Ankara has already contacted many companies, including the owners of the United States’ Nautilus explorer boat, but the vessel is unlikely to be useful in the present search, the official said.
“Despite its full schedule, the company expressed its willingness to join our search and rescue activities, but they were not sure if the boat could search such a deep point,” the official said.
Ankara’s efforts to locate a high-capability scout vessel had not yet born fruit by the time the Daily News went to press late yesterday.
Meanwhile, the military said work to locate the wreckage was still continuing and added that some of the equipment used by the pilots had been found. Officials are also considering whether to deploy an additional vessel capable of carrying out hydrographic studies to the area, the military said in a statement yesterday.
The General Staff said search teams had combed an area of over 1,600 square nautical miles but have only recovered pieces of military equipment and chunks of the downed F-4 military reconnaissance plane.
The search efforts are continuing, the military said, adding that they had deployed a frigate, a gunboat, a patrol boat, two coast guard boats, a plane, four helicopters and hydrographic vessels as part of the mission.