PERTH, AUSTRALIA – A robotic minisub is expected to finish searching a narrowed-down area of the Indian Ocean seabed for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane this week, after completing six missions and coming up empty, the search coordination center said Saturday.
As the hunt for Flight MH370 hit week six, the Bluefin 21 unmanned sub began its seventh trip into the depths off the coast off western Australia. Its search area forms a 10-km (6.2-mile) circle around the location of an underwater signal that was believed to have come from the aircraft’s black boxes before the batteries died. The sonar scan of the seafloor in that area is expected to be completed in five to seven days, the center said.
The U.S. Navy sub has covered around 133 sq. km (51 sq. miles) since it began diving into the depths March 14.
Malaysian Defense Minister Hishamuddin Hussein said that there are no plans to give up once the Bluefin concludes its work. Instead, he said the scope of the search may be broadened or other assets may be used.