PETALING JAYA: The United States is using relevant information from its military and civilian satellites to help the Government in the search and rescue (SAR) operations to locate the missing MH370 jetliner.
“I know the Malaysian Government is using all the information they can get. We are assisting as much as possible,” said US 7th Fleet public affairs officer Commander William J. Marks yesterday. Support is pouring in for Malaysia from countries involved in the SAR effort to locate the plane which went off the radar while flying to Beijing on March 8.
Marks said over the last week, the US with its assets had virtually scoured over the northern Indian Ocean and the Andaman Sea and would now expand its search to the southern Indian Ocean.
“A P3 Orion plane will be based in Thailand and a P8 plane will be based in Australia to cover more ground,” he said.
He said the USS Kidd navy ship had finished its search mission from the Straits of Malacca to the northern Andaman sea but did not find any debris or wreckage.
Senior Colonel Titawat Satiantip, the defence and army attaché with the Royal Thai Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, said the Thai Armed Forces would provide necessary data from its radar system to Malaysia in order to confirm the passing of MH370.
“Such information may need time to be analysed as well. The air force said its radar system had not detected the plane,” Satiantip said.
He said the Thai armed forces would continue to cooperate with Malaysia until the plane is found.
Bangladesh High Commission defence attaché Mohd Abul Bashar said his country is committed to help Malaysia in the operations.
“We thank the Malaysian Government for sharing their data with us and we would also share our data if needed,” said Mohd Abul.
A total of 26 countries are involved in the operation to locate the jetliner which disappeared on March 8 carrying 239 passengers and crew.
British High Commissioner to Malaysia Simon Featherstone said the United Kingdom would continue to assist the Malaysian investigation team in its effort to locate the plane.
He said a team with a Rolls Royce engine expert deployed by the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) was already in Malaysia assisting the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation.
“The AAIB team and experts from Inmarsat have worked closely with Malaysian and US experts to identify flight MH370’s likely final destination along an arc ranging from Kazakhstan to the southern Indian Ocean.”