Australian support to Malaysian search effort - update
16 March 2014
Two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) AP-3C Orion aircraft continue to support the Malaysian coordinated search mission for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
Chief of the Defence Force General David Hurley said Malaysian authorities coordinating the search had re-tasked an Australian aircraft.
"Today one RAAF AP-3C Orion commenced searching the Indian Ocean to the north and west of the Cocos Islands," General Hurley said.
"This aircraft is expected to recover to the Cocos Islands overnight and launch from that location on Monday to maximise mission time in the expanded search area."
The second RAAF AP-3C Orion will continue to search west of Malaysia.
Since Sunday 9 March 2014, Australia has provided two RAAF aircraft to assist the Malaysian Government in its search effort.
Both Australian aircraft are tasked by the Royal Malaysian Air Force Commander for the Western Region Search Area and requests for information on progress of the search should be directed to the Malaysian authorities.
"To date, RAAF AP-3C Orions operating from Royal Malaysian Air Force Base Butterworth, near Penang, have flown 51.5 hours on search missions," General Hurley said.
"The Australian Defence Force continues to work closely with the Malaysian authorities coordinating the international search mission.
"Our thoughts remain with all those affected by this incident,” General Hurley said.
As part of this international effort, any Defence information relating to flight MH370 is passed to Malaysian authorities who are responsible for providing updated public information on efforts to locate MH370.
Defence is unable to facilitate interview requests regarding this Malaysian-led search or provide media access to the Australian aircraft.
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