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Search and recovery operation for Malaysia Airlines aircraft: Update 21
*All times are expressed in Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time (AEDT). Please note all times are approximate.
Search activities today will involve a total of 11 aircraft and five ships.
Today’s search is split into two areas within the same proximity covering a cumulative 78,000 square kilometres.
Two Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orions, a Chinese Ilyushin IL-76, a Japanese Gulfstream jet, a US Navy P-8 Poseidon and a Japanese P-3 Orion will fly sorties throughout the day.
The first aircraft to leave Perth for the search area was the Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft around 8am.
The two RAAF AP-3C Orions are scheduled to depart before midday.
Five civil aircraft are scheduled to depart between 9.30am and 11am. A total of 34 SES volunteers will again be air observers on board the civil aircraft.
A Japan Coast Guard ultra-long range jet will depart at around 2pm.
A US Navy P8 Poseidon is scheduled to depart around 4pm.
A Japanese P3 Orion is scheduled to depart around 5pm.
HMAS Success remains in the search area about 2500 kilometres south-west of Perth and was joined by four Chinese ships – Xue Long, Kunlunshan, Haikou and Qiandaohu – in the search area.
Weather in the search area is expected to deteriorate later today.