American Navy Sonar Pinger Joins Hunt For Missing Malaysian Plane

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In this handout image provided by the U.S. Navy, The Bluefin 21, Artemis autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) is hoisted back on board the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield after successful buoyancy testing on April 1, 2014 in the Indian Ocean. (credit: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter D. Blair/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)

In this handout image provided by the U.S. Navy, The Bluefin 21, Artemis autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) is hoisted back on board the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield after successful buoyancy testing on April 1, 2014 in the Indian Ocean. (credit: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter D. Blair/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)

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PERTH, Australia (AP) — The Australian head of the agency searching for the missing Malaysian passenger jet says U.S. Navy equipment will begin its underwater hunt Friday for the jet’s black boxes.

Air crews and ships have been searching for weeks for a sign of Flight 370, which went missing on March 8. Angus Houston, the head of a joint agency coordinating the search in the southern Indian Ocean, says a towed pinger locator from the U.S. Navy has been put on the Australian ship the Ocean Shield and will converge with the British HMS Echo.

The Echo already has been searching underwater for the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder. Houston says the ships will search a targeted 240-kilometer (150-mile) track of remote ocean for any pings from the black box.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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