March 23, 2014 00:00 By Agence France-Presse
The Australian-led search for Flight MH370 was ramped up Sunday after a plane spotted unidentified debris in the Indian Ocean, following fresh Chinese satellite images showing a large floating object in the same remote region.
Eight aircraft, some carrying state-of-the-art submarine-hunting technology, joined one of Australia's largest naval ships Sunday in the southern corridor search zone, focusing on a 59,000-square-kilometre (23,000-square-mile) expanse of sea.
Here is a breakdown of the ships and planes involved in the operation:
- One US Navy P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft. The Poseidon carries next-generation ultra-high definition electro-optic cameras and sensors, capable of detecting and zeroing in on small objects on the water's surface. 400 such hits during initial searches out of Malaysia. Can fly 7,500km without refuelling. Unveiled in November at the Dubai Airshow
- One New Zealand P3 Orion. The Orion has sophisticated radar, infrared detectors, magnetic anomaly detectors and acoustic detectors designed to locate enemy submarines. 15 hours' endurance.
- Two Australian P3 Orions and four civilian aircraft with volunteer spotters: two Bombardier Global Express jets, one Gulfstream 5, one Airbus A319
- Two Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 military transport carriers have arrived in Perth ahead of operational deployment
- Two Japanese P3 Orions are en route to Perth
- Australia's HMAS Success support ship on active search duties. The vessel, 157 metres in length, is the largest ship built in the country for the Royal Australian Navy. It is designed to offer logistics support to naval combat vessels. It has a large deck and cranes with a lift capacity of about two tonnes
- Britain's HMS Echo has been tasked to the hunt. The ship is designed to carry out a wide range of survey work, including support to submarine and amphibious operations
- Seven Chinese rescue and navy ships are en route to the search zone along with Antarctic icebreaker Xue Long
- Norwegian merchant vessel Hoegh St Petersburg has been released from search efforts.