Malaysia has announced plans to deploy additional assets in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 in the southern Indian Ocean.
A Royal Malaysian Navy Vessel, KD Mutiara, which is equipped with a multi-beam echo sounder, will join in the bathymetric survey of the search area, says the country’s defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein. The vessel will set sail on 4 August.
State-owned oil and gas firm Petronas, together with Deftech and Phoenix International, will deploy a side scan sonar, which will be mounted on a vessel.
Shipbuilder Boustead Heavy Industries, together with iXBlue Australia will also be deploying a deep towed side scan sonar, together with a remotely operated vehicle.
Hishammuddin says instructions for immediate mobilisation have been given and that the assets are expected to reach the search area in mid-August. Operation requirements for these assets will also be coordinated with the Australian authorities.
It has been four months since MH370 went missing on 8 March with 239 people on board.
Australian authorities last month said that the search for the missing aircraft would shift further south after a review of available satellite data. The revised undersea search area is south of where an aerial and acoustic search took place in March and April in the southern Indian Ocean. This is still along the “seventh arc” where the aircraft transmitted its final communication.