US deploys P-8A Poseidon to search missing Malaysian jet
The US has deployed the state-of-the-art P-8A Poseidon aircraft to search for a missing Malaysia Airlines plane in the Bay of Bengal that disappeared mysteriously last week, the Pentagon said.world Updated: Mar 15, 2014 11:28 IST
The US has deployed the state-of-the-art P-8A Poseidon aircraft to search for a missing Malaysia Airlines plane in the Bay of Bengal that disappeared mysteriously last week, the Pentagon said.
"The P-8 will be searching the Bay of Bengal. The P-8A Poseidon is a long-range maritime patrol capability. The P-8A will provide more capability while focusing on worldwide responsiveness and interoperability. The nine-person crew will operate state-of-the-art sensors," Pentagon spokesperson, Army Col Steven Warren, said yesterday.
The Pentagon is coordinating the rescue effort with the Indian Navy, which is engaged in the search operation at the request of the Malaysian authorities.
The P-8A arrived at Kadena Air Base, Japan, in December as part of the Defense Department's rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region, he said.
Warren said while USS Kidd, a guided missile destroyer will be searching in the Andaman Sea, and into the Bay of Bengal, the P-8A Poseidon will search a much larger search area -- the southern portion of the Bay of Bengal and the northern portion of the Indian Ocean, he added.
"We're very excited about the P-8A, because it's got tremendously increased capabilities," Warren said.
The White House said, the Malaysian Government is in lead of the investigation. So what I can tell you is the Malaysian government is in the lead in this investigation, and US air safety officials are in Kuala Lumpur working closely with the Malaysians on the investigation.
"This is a difficult and unusual situation, and we are working hard, in close collaboration with the Malaysian government, to investigate a number of possible scenarios for what happened to the flight," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.
"The US government is tracking the situation closely, and we are in communication across agencies and with international partners to provide any appropriate assistance we can in this investigation.
"We are also continuing to participate actively in the search efforts. We are consulting with our international partners about the appropriate assets to deploy, including to the new search areas to the West," he said.
The US is participating with an array of international partners, in assisting the Malaysian government in their effort to trace the MH370 aircraft that went missing last week with 239 people on board.
First Published: Mar 15, 2014 11:26 IST