On-the-ground visit: Najib meeting with Royal Malaysian Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force personnel who are involved in the search mission in Perth. — KAMARUL ARIFFIN / The Star
PERTH: Sonar technology may be used to help search for the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 aircraft once its black box battery power runs out, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He said the equipment used for the search might include robotic drones equipped with sonar and underwater cameras, adding that he had discussed with the Australian government about conducting deep sea recovery.
“Let’s take it one step at a time. We still got a little time left and, hopefully, there will be some development.
“Let us be certain where the plane is first. Then there is technology available to do deep water retrieval of aircraft parts or aircraft,” he said here yesterday.
A black box’s battery usually lasts for about 30 days and there are fears that time may run out before the plane is found.
Najib also said Malaysia could send more ships and planes to help in the search.
“We are looking at additional assets. We are reviewing the operation on a daily basis,” he added.
Najib denied a foreign news report that both United States and Britain were seeking to take over the investigations.
He said under international law, the ultimate responsibility in the search for MH370 lies with Malaysia.
“But because the area of search is closer to Australia, we have credited them to coordinate the effort,” he added.
Earlier, Najib and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott visited Pearce Air Force base to meet crewmen taking part in search operation.
“I came here to express the gratitude of the Government and all Malaysians to those taking part in finding the plane,” he added.
Najib felt that it would be more meaningful to come here personally.
“The search must continue for the sake of the families, whose loved one were on board. Malaysia will not give up as long as there are no conclusive answers to what had happened to MH370,” he added.
Najib said initial information about where the plane could be was based on data provided by experts, before it was refined and narrowed down.
“There was no mistake on the part of the Government. The results were based on methodology which had never been used before.”
However, he said the search area in the southern Indian Ocean was vast.