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SYDNEY, 5 March. /TASS/. An extensive search for the Malaysian Boeing that went missing over the Indian Ocean almost a year ago may be stopped, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told the parliament on Thursday.
He said hope remained that the search operation would yield result, but intensive search could not be continued indefinitely.
The current stage of the operation in which four vessels are engaged, is to end in May. Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said earlier that experts from Australia, Malaysia and China were discussing what to do next if the search failed to produce result.
He also said that in teamwork with Malaysia and Indonesia, Australia would test a new navigation and communications system that would be tracking location of the planes flying in the western art of the Pacific region every 15 minutes, instead of every 30 to 40 minutes as this is the case now.
Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014, was carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew. Contact with the plane was lost about two hours after it took off from the Malaysian capital. No trace of the plane was found during extensive search in the Indian Ocean some 2,500 kilometers west of Australia in the first 1.5 months since its disappearance.
Last April, the scope of the search was reduced, and after analyzing huge amounts of satellite data, specialists moved the search zone southwest off the Australian coast.