RMN ships sail tonight to join search - Missing AirAsia flight

6:09:00 AM
KUALA LUMPUR, -- Three Royal Malaysian Navy ships will sail tonight to join the search for the missing Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said on Sunday that they were the KD Pahang, KD Lekir and KD Lekiu with a Fennec helicopter onboard.

The Royal Malaysian Air Force would deploy a C130 aircraft to assist Indonesia with the search and rescue operation.

The Defence Ministry and the Malaysian Armed Forces were ready to provide any assistance required by Indonesia in the search and rescue mission.

Hishammuddin in a statement said he had spoken to the Indonesian Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu and noted that Malaysia was ready to be of service if needed by the Indonesian government in the spirit of Asean solidarity.

 "I have instructed the Chief of the Royal Malaysian Navy Laksamana Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar and the Chief of the Royal Malaysian Air Force Jeneral Datuk Seri Roslan Saad to remain in close contact with their Indonesian counterparts for any further developments.

"Separately, I have also spoken to the Singaporean Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen regarding this matter to reaffirm our commitment in the search and rescue efforts. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the passengers, crew members and families of all on board QZ8501," said Hishammuddin.

Flight QZ8501 left Surabaya at 5.35am (Surabaya time) enroute Singapore but lost contact with Indonesian air traffic control at 7.24am (Surabaya time). It was scheduled to reach Singapore in 8.20 am.

The Airbus A320-200 carried 162 passengers and crews.

The KD Lekiu, one of the warships in the Royal Malaysian Navy fleet on patrol  tonight to join the search for flight QZ8501.


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