Malaysian Navy frigate KD Lekiu is the country’s only naval vessel included in the search and rescue efforts for the missing Malaysian Airlines MH370 in the southern part of the Indian Ocean, according to Malaysian Defence.
As explained by Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) chief Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar, Lekiu stopped in Perth for replenishment before heading out to the search area.
Five other Malaysian navy ships originally deployed to the operation, namely frigate KD Kasturi and Kedah-class Patrol Vessel KD Selangor, KD Kelantan, KD Pahang and KD Terengganu – returned to their respective bases due to technical and logistics reasons following the shift of the search area further out to sea. Australian Maritime Safety Authority has determined a search area of about 223,000 square kilometres, 1680 kilometres west north-west of Perth.
Two Royal Malaysian Air Force C130H Hercules aircraft joined the SAR operation at the end of March. The international search party presently comprises of up to eight planes and nine ships.
Naval Today Staff, April 3, 2014; Image: US Navy