Dhaka : Bangladesh Wednesday said it has strengthened its efforts to search for the Malaysia Airlines plane that went missing March 8.
Following Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's instruction, Bangladesh Navy March 14 launched the search for the missing plane by deploying two frigates -- BNS Umar Farooq and BNS Bangabandhu -- and two aircraft.
"Yesterday we deployed BNS Somudro Joy instead of BNS Farooq as part of our efforts to strengthen our search operation," Xinhua quoted Bangladesh Navy spokesman Syed Moksudul Hakim as telling journalists at a press briefing Wednesday.
BNS Somudro Joy which is the largest and heaviest guided missile frigate of the Bangladesh Navy was commissioned Dec 23 last year.
Bangladesh Navy acquired the ship from the US under the Excess Defence Articles programme.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished mysteriously about an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur March 8.
The Boeing 777-200ER was initially presumed to have crashed off the Vietnamese coast in the South China Sea.
The plane was scheduled to land in Beijing at 6.30 a.m. the same day. The 227 passengers on board included five Indians, 154 Chinese and 38 Malaysians.
Contact with the plane was lost along with its radar signal at 1.40 a.m. when it was flying over the air traffic control area of Ho Chi Minh City.
"Bangladesh Navy will continue to search for the missing plane until it receives further orders from the Bangladeshi government in this connection," Hakim said in the press conference held at the Bangladesh Navy headquarters in Dhaka.
"We've already searched 8,709 sq km area in the Bay of Bengal for Malaysia Airlines plane MH370," he said. "But no clue has been found so far."