PERTH, Australia - Ships and planes pursued Saturday the search for the missing Malaysian airliner off Australia after Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he was "very confident" that signals from the black box had been detected.
The Australian-led search for the Boeing 777, which disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, is racing to gather as many signals as possible to determine an exact resting place before a submersible is sent down to find wreckage.
The Joint Agency coordination Centre (JACC) said Saturday that the remote search area where the plane was believed to have gone down some was still shrinking.
"Today, Australian defence vessel Ocean Shield continues more focused sweeps with the towed pinger locator to try and locate further signals related to the aircraft's black boxes," JACC said.
Ocean Shield has picked up four signals linked to aircraft black boxes, with the first two analysed as being consistent with those from aircraft flight recorders.
The beacons on the plane's flight data and cockpit voice recorders have a normal battery lifespan of around 30 days. MH370 vanished March 8.
AP-3C Orion surveillance aircraft were also carrying out acoustic searches in conjunction with Ocean Shield, the statement said adding that the British oceanographic ship HMS Echo was also working in the area.
Saturday's total search zone covers 41,393 square kilometres (15,982 square miles) and the core of the search zone lies 2,330 kilometres (1,450 miles) northwest of Perth.
"This work continues in an effort to narrow the underwater search area for when the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle is deployed," JACC said adding that there have been no confirmed signal detections over the past 24 hours.