MISSING JET UPDATE: More underwater vehicles to join missing jet hunt

Kuala Lumpur (IANS): Malaysia will deploy more underwater vehicles in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, the media reported Saturday.

Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the Deployment of Assets Committee led by Deputy Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Bakri was considering the possibility of deploying more autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) to join the search, The Malaysian Star reported.

“His committee on assets is looking at the possibility of deploying more AUVs,” Hussein said in a Twitter post Friday.

The Bluefin-21 AUV, which was deployed in the underwater search earlier this week, completed another round in the search area, the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) confirmed.

Eleven military aircraft and 12 ships have been depolyed in the latest search operation Saturday.

“Today (Saturday) the Australian Maritime Safety Authority has planned a visual search area totalling approximately 50,200 sq km, across three areas,” the JACC said in its latest update.

“Overnight Bluefin-21 AUV completed mission six in the underwater search area. Bluefin-21 has searched approximately 133 sq km to date. Data from the sixth mission is currently under analysis. No contacts of interest have been found to date,” it added.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished mysteriously about an hour after taking off for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur shortly after midnight March 8.

The Boeing 777-200ER was scheduled to land in Beijing the same day. The 227 passengers on board included five Indians, 154 Chinese and 38 Malaysians.