RAF aircraft joins search effort for missing Argentine submarine

An RAF aircraft has landed in Argentina to help search for the submarine that went missing last week with 44 sailors on board.

The ARA San Juan disappeared on November 15, en route from Ushuaia to Mar del Plata.

A raft of international vessels have been dispatched to help the search, including from the UK, but the mission has been hindered by stormy weather.

The RAF Voyager took off from Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, and arrived in Argentina on Wednesday, an MoD spokesperson said. The aircraft, which boasts 12 deep emergency life support pods, will join the HMS Protector, a Royal Navy ice patrol ship, which arrived in South America on Sunday, to search the last known location of the submarine using its sonar.

HMS Clyde, an offshore patrol vessel, which was returning from a patrol to South Georgia, has also assisted with the search efforts.

The submarine has enough food, oxygen and fuel for the crew to survive 90 days on the sea's surface, however submerged the crew only has enough oxygen for seven days.

The international teams have a search area of 185,000 square miles, the size of Spain.

Sounds detected under the sea, thought at the time to have come from the missing sub, were dismissed earlier this week as “biological” in source.