Australian officials supervising the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 said on Saturday that an underwater search for the black box recorder based on "pings" possibly from the device could be completed in five to seven days.
A U.S. Navy deep-sea autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) is scouring a remote stretch of the Indian Ocean floor for signs of the plane, which disappeared from radars on March 8 with 239 people on board and is believed to have crashed in the area.
After almost two months without a sign of wreckage, the current underwater search has been narrowed to a circular area with a radius of 10 km (6.2 miles) around the location in which one of four pings believed to have come from the black box recorders was detected on April 8, officials said.
"Provided the weather is favorable for launch and recovery of the AUV and we have a good run with the serviceability of the AUV, we should complete the search of the focused underwater area in five to seven days," the Joint Agency Coordination Centre told Reuters in an email.
(Read more: Timeline of Flight MH370)
Officials did not indicate whether they were confident that this search area would yield any new information about the flight, nor did they state what steps they would take in the event that the underwater search were to prove fruitless.