Prime Minister Tony Abbott has reaffirmed Australia’s pledge to do everything possible to find the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, as authorities prepare for the next phase of the search.
An underwater drone has combed more than three quarters of the search area where experts believe the black box recorder for MH370 could be located.
Mr Abbott on Wednesday said if nothing turned up they would “rethink” the search but would not give up while there was a reasonable hope of finding something.
“Australia will not rest until we have done everything we humanly can to get to the bottom of this mystery,” he told reporters in Canberra.
He also dismissed new theories that the plane could have landed, saying there was no advice to suggest anything but the plane went down somewhere in the Indian Ocean.
Up to 10 military aircraft and 12 ships are assisting in the search on Wednesday, with the drone circling an underwater area with a 10km radius.
Defence Minister David Johnston said if the search turned up nothing the operation would move to the next phase, using more advanced sonar technology.
Australia was “working up” the assets required for this with its search partners, but wasn’t waning in its commitment to the task.
Senator Johnston said the government was tracking the cost of the search but that Australia wanted to help its friends in this “most tragic circumstance”.
“Yes there are costs incurred, we want to find this aircraft,” he told reporters in Canberra.
“We want to say to our friends in Malaysia and China that this is not about cost.”