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MH370: Singapore deploys another plane to help in search operations

Published on Mar 14, 2014 1:06 PM
 
Personnel from the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) scan the seas about 140 nautical miles north-east of Kota Baru, Kelantan, for any signs of a Malaysia Airlines plane which went missing on March 8, 2014. Singapore is deploying one more aircraft to help with the search of the missing Malaysian Airlines plane, MH370. -- PHOTO: DESMOND LIM 

Singapore has deployed one more aircraft to help with the ongoing search for the missing Malaysian Airlines plane, MH370. The Republic of Singapore Air Force sent a maritime patrol aircraft with six personnel to scour the seas in the Straits of Malacca. The latest move came after Malaysian authorities widened the search to that area earlier this week.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said the Malaysians accepted the additional help, and the plane took off on Friday afternoon.

The plane will operate from the Royal Malaysia Air Force's Butterworth Air Base in Penang. The aircraft has a longer range and can cover greater distances; it also has better radar capabilities and electro-optic sensors that can see further. The plane is usually used for daily anti-piracy patrols along the Straits of Malacca.

Dr Ng also pledged that Singapore "is not giving up" the search efforts, amid the lack of "precise information" given to the 12-nation search party that is scanning the South China Sea, west Peninsular Malaysia and the Andaman Sea.

"Whatever we have been assigned, we are fully supportive of the Malaysians and we will continue to be diligent in the areas that we have been assigned," said Dr Ng.

Singapore was one of the first countries to offer assistance when the plane went missing on Saturday. It has so far sent two military transport planes, a naval helicopter, two warships and a submarine support and rescue vessel.

Dr Ng said that Singapore "stands ready" to pitch in more if needed.

"If the Malaysians ask for further help, we will be very ready to give it."