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Malaysia Asks Pentagon for Underwater Surveillance Equipment

  • VOA News

A Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion returns from a search for MalaysianA Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion returns from a search for Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 over the Indian Ocean, at RAAF Base Pearce, north of Perth March 21, 2014.

A Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion returns from a search for MalaysianA Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion returns from a search for Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 over the Indian Ocean, at RAAF Base Pearce, north of Perth March 21, 2014.

Malaysia is asking the Pentagon for underwater surveillance equipment to help with the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet.

A Pentagon spokesman says Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein made the request Friday during a telephone conversation with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

The spokesman did not say exactly what equipment the U.S. might provide, but that Hagel is considering the request and whether it would be helpful in looking for the aircraft.

There was no sign of wreckage after a daylong air and sea search Friday of the southern Indian Ocean off Australia.

Australian satellite pictures show two large objects floating in the water which investigators say could be from the Boeing 777.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters his country is "throwing everything we've got" in an effort to find Flight 370.

"We have an Australian naval ship that is steaming as fast as it can to the area. It is an extremely remote part of the southern Indian Ocean," said Abbott. "It is about 3,000 kilometers southwest of Perth. It's about the most inaccessible spot that you could imagine on the face of the Earth, but if there is anything down there we will find it. We owe it to the families of those people to do no less."

A pilot from New Zealand, Lieutenant Tim McAlevey, said he is disappointed but has every confidence that the floating objects will be found. "It's certainly disappointing and I've got every confidence that if there is an object there that we will find it and every time that we launch we hold that hope; however, we are just going to keep going until we find it.''

The Malaysia Airlines jet with 239 people on board disappeared two weeks ago during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. There has been no firm evidence, so far, of what happened to the jet.

Investigators are not ruling out anything, including catastrophic mechanical failure, terrorism, or pilot suicide. They say it is possible that someone with knowledge of planes diverted it far off course.

Twenty-six nations have been hunting for the plane across an area covering more than 7 million square kilometers, from Kazakhstan to the southern Indian Ocean.

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