Missing Malaysia Flight MH370: UK submarine joins search for missing plane

Royal Navy nuclear submarine HMS Tireless has joined the hunt

Britain's Ministry of Defence said the Royal Navy nuclear submarine HMS Tireless has joined the search for the missing flight MH370 after arriving in the southern Indian Ocean.

Up to 10 planes and nine ships from a half dozen countries are scouring an area roughly the size of Britain, where the plane is believed to have crashed more than three weeks ago.

Search teams in the southern Indian Ocean are locked in a race against time to locate the plane's black box recorder, which has an expected battery life of around 30 days.

Retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, the head of the Australian agency leading the operation, said the search is "the most complex and challenging search and rescue operation, or search and recovery operation now, that I've ever seen".

The British survey ship HMS Echo is also due to join the search effort for the flight recorder on Wednesday, as authorities in Malaysia said it is focusing its criminal investigation on the cabin crew and pilots of the missing plane.

It has cleared all 227 passengers of any involvement, the country's police chief has said.

The National police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said the passengers had been cleared of possible involvement in hijacking, sabotage or having personal or psychological problems that could have been connected to the flight's disappearance.

But Mr Bakar cautioned the investigation could "go on and on" and "at the end [...] we may not even know the real cause".

The Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is expected to arrive in Perth late on Wednesday to inspect the search and rescue operations, which are being conducted out of RAAF Base Pearce north of the city.

He will meet with the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Thursday.

On Tuesday, Malaysian authorities released the transcript of exchanges between the pilots of the MH370 flight and ground control as it emerged the reported final communication from of one of the pilots was incorrect.

READ MORE: MH370: Peter Jackson's personal jet joins search
MH370: LAST WORDS FROM COCKPIT WERE NOT 'ALL RIGHT, GOOD NIGHT'
SECRET SERVICES INVOLVEMENT IN MH370 INVESTIGATION SPARKS SPECULATION OVER TERRORISM  
SEARCH WILL BE MOST EXPENSIVE EVER, WARNS SALVAGE EXPERT  
BLACK HOLES, ALIENS AND TRIPS TO THE MOON - ONLINE THEORIES

Investigators are still trying to establish whether the pilot or co-pilot spoke the words, a government statement added,  as criticism continued to mount over Malaysia's handling of the search.

The transcript contained a new version of the conversation between air traffic control and the cockpit of the missing flight, with the final transmission being amended to a more formal “good night Malaysian three seven zero" from the casual "all right, good night."

Additional reporting by agency

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'