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Search operation for Malaysia Airlines aircraft continues: Update 18

Wednesday 26 March 2014
The search for any signs of the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft in the Australian Search and Rescue Region is scheduled to get underway around 8am AEDT this morning.

A total of six countries are now assisting in the search and recovery operation – Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea.

Today’s search is split into three areas within the same proximity covering a cumulative 80,000 square kilometres.

Weather conditions have improved in the area and HMAS Success is now on its way back to the search area. On its arrival, HMAS Success will conduct a surface sweep of an area identified on Monday afternoon by a RAAF P3 Orion as the location for several objects of interest.

China’s polar supply ship Xue Long is expected to arrive in the search area later this morning.

AMSA has tasked a total of 12 aircraft today to search for possible objects in the search area.

Five civil aircraft will be involved in search activities today and will have AeroRescue Aviation Mission Coordinators on board.

A total of 34 State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers from Western Australia will again be air observers on board the civil aircraft.

A total of seven military aircraft will join search operations today.

One Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft from China, a P3 Orion from Japan, a P3 Orion from the Republic of Korea, two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P3 Orion, a United States Navy P8 Poseidon, and a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion will join today’s search.

The Chinese aircraft will be the first aircraft to depart for the search area about 8am.

Further departure times of aircraft will be provided later today.