Australia gives more to MH370 search effort

AUSTRALIA has helped fund a fourth ship to assist with the international efforts to locate Malaysia Airline flight MH370 that has been missing for more than 10 months.

MH370, which was travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 last year, lost contact with air traffic control an hour into its journey and is believed to have crashed somewhere in the Indian Ocean.

The 239 passengers and crew on board, including seven Australians, are presumed dead.

There are three vessels, the Fugro Equator, Fugro Discovery and GO Phoenix searching hundreds of thousands of square kilometres of ocean and seabed for any signs of the missing plane.

Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss told ABC Radio on Tuesday a fourth vessel would now join the search.

He said the Fugro Supporter, which was on its way to the search area from Bali, would start search activities late this month.

"It is a huge search area, it is in very deep water, it is a long way from the coast, but we are still optimistic that we are searching in the right place and we have got good enough equipment to be able to identify this wreck," Mr Truss said.

"We are putting in the best effort and if it is possible to find it I am confident we can do it."

The search for MH370 has sparked one of the biggest international recovery operations ever seen and has been called one of the most baffling aviation mysteries ever.