New phase of MH370 search to cost at least $60 million

THE search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has been "baffling and disappointing" to date, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Monday.

Mr Abbott and the search co-ordinator Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston fronted the media in Canberra to announce a new "search phase".

The new phase of the operation will see the government spend at least $60 million to enlist new contractors to search the area most likely to contain the aircraft wreckage.

Mr Abbott said it would likely last between six and eight months, and would involved using new sonar technology to search an area of 700km by 80km under the sea.

He said after 52 days of searching it was unlikely any wreckage would be seen on the surface, with the search to now focus on scanning the seabed for traces.

It will still focus on the existing search are of "highest probability", with Mr Abbott saying the government would do everything "reasonably possible" to recover the wreckage.



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