By Pauline Jelinek
WASHINGTON: Malaysia is asking the United States to provide undersea surveillance equipment to help in the search for the missing Malaysian Airlines jet.
The Pentagon press secretary, Rear Adm. John Kirby, says the request for more U.S. equipment came Friday when Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke with Malaysia’s defense minister and acting transport minister.
Kirby says in a statement that Hagel has promised to assess the availability of the military undersea technology and its usefulness in the search effort.
The Pentagon says it has spent $2.5 million to operate ships and aircraft that have been helping look for the plane and has budgeted another $1.5 million for search efforts.