The U.S. Navy is sending a piece of specialized equipment called the Towed Pinger Locator 25 to the southern Indian Ocean to assist in finding the black box of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
The Pentagon made the decision to send the black box locator before Malaysia Airlines officials announced Monday they believe the plane crashed into the southern Indian Ocean, based on data from a British satellite company.
Navy Cmdr. Chris Budde, U.S. 7th Fleet operations officer, said the decision to move the black box locator is a precautionary one until debris field from MH370 is finally discovered:
"This movement is simply a prudent effort to pre-position equipment and trained personnel closer to the search area so that if debris is found, we will be able to respond as quickly as possible, since the battery life of the black box's pinger is limited...
“The Towed Pinger Locator has some highly sensitive listening capability so that if the wreck site is located, we can hear the black box pinger down to a depth of about 20,000 feet. Basically, this super-sensitive hydrophone gets towed behind a commercial vessel very slowly and listens for black box pings."
According to The Pentagon Channel, the Department of Defense has roughly $4 million budget to aid in the desperate search for MH370: