India is using heat sensors on flights over hundreds of uninhabited islands and will expand its search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet farther into the Bay of Bengal, officials say.
Two Indian air force reconnaissance planes flew over the Andaman and Nicobar Islands after they and two naval ships and two coast guard vessels scoured the surrounding seas without finding evidence of the plane, according to spokesman Colonel Harmit Singh of India’s Tri-Services Command on the territory, on Friday.
The archipelago that stretches south of Myanmar contains 572 islands covering an area of 720-by-52 kilometres.
Only 37 are inhabited, with the rest covered in dense forests.
As there was no headway so far, the Malaysian authorities on Friday suggested a new search area of 9000 square kilometres along the Chennai coast in the Bay of Bengal, India’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The search will be undertaken by India’s eastern naval command.
Singh declined to give details about the rest of the search operation, including the use of technologies such as the heat sensors aboard the Dornier planes.
Coast Guard official V.S.R. Murthy said India would turn its focus toward western waters between the islands and the Indian coast. On Friday, two navy ships were still sailing east of Great Nicobar Island.