MH370: Malaysian PM Najib Razak tours RAAF base in Perth

Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston has welcomed Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to the Pearce RAAF base, saying the search for flight MH370 was one of the “most complex operations of this nature the world has ever seen”.

The former Defence chief, who is helping coordinate the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, also offered his condolences to the families affected by the tragedy.

“This is one of the most demanding and challenging search and rescue operations or search and recovery operations that I have ever seen,” Air Chief Marshal Houston said.

“I want to assure you that Australia is doing everything it can to assist Malaysia to find MH370 and recover what we can from the Indian ocean.”

Mr Najib arrived on Perth on Wednesday evening, and is being accompanied by Prime Minister Tony Abbott on a tour around the RAAF air force base, north of Perth, on Thursday.

He will also visit the Joint Agency Coordination Centre and will be briefed further on search efforts.

Soon after the prime ministers concluded their tour of the air force base, Mr Najib posted a photo of himself in discussion with Mr Abbott, Air Chief Marshal Houston and other personnel involved in search operations.

Mr Najib thanked all those countries involved in the current search.

"Indeed this is probably the largest mission put together by so many countries to locate an aircraft and your commitment is very, very much appreciated by Malaysia and by the world," Mr Najib said.

"We owe it to the grieving families to give them comfort and closure to this rather tragic event and the world expects us to do our level best and I’m very confident that you will indeed show what we can do together as a group of nations that we want to find answers."

Up to eight aircraft and nine ships are searching the Indian Ocean, about 1680 kilometres, north west of Perth for any sign of the plane.

A Malaysian ship KD Lekiu is scheduled to depart the HMAS Stirling naval base on Garden Island, south-west of Perth, on Thursday afternoon with about 150 crew members on board.

Mr Najib has no plans to visit the naval base, an Australian Defence spokesman said.

The current search area has been refined to 223,000 square kilometres and Air Chief Marshal Houston said it will be moved further north.

While crews returned back to the air base without any positive debris sightings, one of the military planes will be tasked to drop self locating datum marker buoys within the search area.

Visibility is expected to be fair with good weather conditions, although isolated showers are expected in the southern area of the search zone.

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