CANBERRA, Australia – Malaysia’s defence minister on Monday defended his military’s failure to scramble a fighter jet to follow a Malaysian airliner when it veered off course and vanished two months ago, saying it wasn’t seen as a hostile object.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 became invisible to civilian radar when its transponder stopped transmitting during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8. But the plane was tracked by Malaysian military radar after it turned in a westerly direction across Peninsular Malaysia.
In response to criticism that fighter jets should have been scrambled to investigate the then-unidentified flight through Malaysian air space, Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told Australian Broadcasting Corp.’s « Four Corners » program broadcast Monday that the plane was deemed commercial and not hostile.
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