The Indian Navy today said it had recovered what it believes could be the remains of the Indian Navy pilot who had ejected over the Arabian on November 26.
Commander Nishant Singh, the instructor at the controls of the MiG-29K jet he was flying with another pilot, had gone missing following an accident over sea 11 days ago. His co-pilot was located and rescued immediately.
The trainee pilot informed officials he had spotted a second parachute go off after he himself ejected.
Four days after the incident, on December 1, Navy specialists located the primary wreckage of the Russian-built twin-seat fighter. Sources told NDTV Commander Singh's ejection seat was not present at the site.
A statement from the Indian Navy today said: "Mortal remains of a human body have been recovered in the vicinity of the wreckage site. The samples are being sent for DNA testing for confirmation of identity."
All sections of the aircraft wreckage, including ejection seats, have been accounted for using side scan sonar and HD cameras, the statement said.
The MiG-29K is fitted with the Russian-built K-36D-3.5 ejection seat, widely considered the most sophisticated in the world. In the event of the ejection handles being pulled, the pilot in the rear seat is ejected first, followed by the pilot in the front.
Sources indicate that the fighter was at a very low altitude when the pilots ejected.
The government conducted an intensive aerial, coastal, and surface search operation involving naval ships and aircraft. Divers carried out underwater searches using specialised equipment to map the seabed in the area around the primary wreckage site, the sources added.
The Indian Navy has a fleet of over 40 MiG-29K fighter aircraft based out of Goa and also operated from the INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier.