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Friday, January 29, 2016, 11:23

China's ship to join search for missing MH370

By Xinhua

CANBERRA -- China will join the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 by sending a ship to the search area in the southern Indian Ocean.

Australia's deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss announced on Friday that the Chinese ship, Dong Hai Jiu 101, will be deployed in February to assist in the Australian-led search operation.

"The Australian government welcomes the Dong Hai Jiu 101 to the search effort and thanks the government of the People's Republic of China for its generous contribution," Truss said in a statement on Friday.

"The ship, offered to (Australian) Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull by Premier Li Keqiang of the People's Republic of China in November 2015, will undertake search operations in the southern Indian Ocean."

"The ship has recently been refitted and will be equipped with the ProSAS-60 - a 6000-meter depth-rated synthetic aperture sonar (SAS) towed system to be used in search operations."

"The ProSAS-60 will be operated by Phoenix International Holdings and Hydrospheric Solutions. Both companies have experience in the search for MH370 having previously operated on the search vessel GO Phoenix."

"The ship is currently in Singapore for mobilization and is expected to depart for Australia on Sunday (January 31). It will commence operations in the search area towards the end of February, "  the deputy prime minister said.

Truss, who is also the minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, said "The presence of Dong Hai Jiu 101 will supplement the work of Fugro Discovery, Fugro Equator and Havila Harmony, and returns to four the number of vessels actively searching for MH370 in the 120,000-square kilometer search area."

Flight MH370 disappeared with 239 people, including 154 Chinese and six Australians, on board on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014.

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