Malaysian Flight MH370: Australia Aid in Search with 2 RAAF Aircraft

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By Athena Yenko | March 10, 2014 12:10 PM EST

Australia extends help in finding the missing Malaysian flight MH370.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott confirmed that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak had accepted Australia's offer of two RAAF aircrafts to aid in locating the missing Malaysian flight.

"This afternoon I spoke to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to convey Australia's condolences on the loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and offer our assistance with the search for the missing aircraft. Prime Minister Najib has accepted this offer, ' Mr Abbott said in a statement late on Sunday.

The first of the two RAAF aircrafts (RAAF AP-3C Orion aircrafts) had already left from Darwin on Sunday night. The second of the two aircrafts is scheduled to leave by Monday morning.

The Australian Defence Force confirmed the departure of the aircrafts.

Acting Chief of the Australian Defence Force, Air Marshal Mark Binskin said that the RAAF AP-3C Orion aircrafts are high-quality maritime patrol and long-range surveillance aircrafts both equipped with ranges of sensors and electro-optics detectors. The aircrafts are ideally suited for search operations.

Meanwhile, the whole of the Defence Force, through Mr Binskin, extends sympathy to the families of the passengers aboard the missing Malaysian flight.

"This is a terrible tragedy and the Australian Defence Force stands ready to do all it can to assist our Malaysian friends. This has affected all Australians very deeply and our thoughts are with the families of all those caught in this incident," Binskin said.

The two RAAF AP-3C Orion aircrafts are based in Darwin. The first aircraft that departed Darwin is an aid to RAAF Butterworth in Malaysia. It will be base there for the whole duration of the search operations.

The aircrafts were sent following confirmation that the Malaysian government had accepted aid from the country. The confirmation made by Mr Abbott.

There were six Australians and two New Zealanders aboard the missing Malaysian flight.

Malaysian flight MH370 disappeared over the South China Sea on Sunday morning after two hours of its departure from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

There had been unconfirmed reports of terrorism sparked by two of the passengers found to be holding stolen passports.

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