The Indian Air Force on Sunday deployed Rafale fighter jets to search for unidentified flying objects reportedly found near Imphal Airport in Manipur. According to reports, two Rafale aircraft were sent to search for the UFO, however, they did not spot any objects.
Flight operations were affected for a few hours at Imphal International Airport on Sunday following reports of unidentified flying objects near the airport. According to reports, two flights were diverted and three others were delayed. Services normalised after around 5.30pm.
"Due to the sighting of an unidentified flying object within Imphal controlled airspace, two flights have been diverted and three departing flights have been delayed. Flight operations commence after receipt of clearance from the competent authority," a statement issued by Airport Director Chipemmi Keishing said on Sunday.
Defence sources told ANI, "Soon after information about the UFO near the Imphal airport was received, a Rafale fighter aircraft from a nearby airbase was scrambled to go and search for the UFO. The aircraft equipped with advanced sensors carried out low-level flying over the suspected area to look for the UFO but it did not find anything there.” ANI reported that second aircraft was also sent after the first aircraft returned, but the UFO was not seen in the area.
The Eastern Command of the Indian Air Force said they have activated its air defence response mechanism based on visual inputs from the airport. “However, the small object was seen thereafter,” ANI reported quoting IAF.