The Malaysian military has reportedly tracked the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER aircraft by radar over the Strait of Malacca, a great distance from where the jetliner last made contact off the country’s east coast.

A military official told Reuters: "It changed course after Kota Bharu and took a lower altitude. It made it into the Malacca Strait."

The Strait of Malacca is a shipping channel located on the western peninsular of Malaysia.

The Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members left Kuala Lumpur on Saturday 8 March, disappearing off radar screens only an hour after takeoff.

"We are looking very closely at the video footage taken at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, we are studying the behavioural patterns of all passengers."

No weather problems were reported and the distress signal was not received.

While reports said there may be a sudden catastrophic failure or explosion, Malaysia’s military radar tracking revealed that the aircraft may have turned back from its designated route.

Hijacking, personal or psychological problems of passengers or crew, sabotage, and mechanical problems were also the areas of concern.

It was identified that two passengers had boarded the aircraft using stolen passports.

Later, the Malaysian police clarified that one of the men travelling with a stolen passport on the jet was a young Iranian with no terrorist links.

Addressing a news conference, Malaysian police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said: "We are looking very closely at the video footage taken at the KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport), we are studying the behavioural patterns of all the passengers."

If confirmed, this crash will be the second serious incident for Boeing 777 aircraft in less than a year, after Asiana Airlines’ Boeing 777-200ER aircraft that crash-landed in San Francisco, US, in July 2013, leading to the death of three passengers.

Defence Technology