The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) hydrographic vessel, KD Mutiara, sets sail for the southern Indian Ocean to participate in the search of the missing MH370 aircraft for the next four months.

RMN fleet commander Vice-Admiral Datuk Mohamad Roslan Ramli said the assignment for KD Mutiara would be coordinated by the Military Coordination Sub Surface based in Perth, Australia, once it reached the southern Indian Ocean on Aug 18.

"KD Mutiara is a hydrographic vessel that can employs the bathymetric measurement for objects on the ocean bed up to 11,000m deep using single-beam echosounder and another system using multi-beam echosounder that can accurately provide measurement of objects located up to 7,000m deep."

He said this to reporters after flagging off KD Mutiara with the strength of 19 officers and 118 staff, including a doctor and a religious officer, at the RMN Base operations jetty here today.

"RMN has implemented intensive training for the crew members on this vessel before setting it out to participate in the search for MH370 aircraft. Focus was not only given on the vessel, but also the crew members and equipment. The vessel is in full state of preparedness," he said.

Mohamad Roslan said KD Mutiara would receive instruction from the Military Coordination Sub Surface, especially pertaining the sector that would be entrusted to them.

"We were made to understand that 50 per cent of the sectors in the southern Indian Ocean had been covered in the search of MH370 aircraft so far and the search in the remaining sectors would continue until the mystery is solved," he said.

KD Mutiara, measuring 71m long and 12.4m wide and speed of 16 knots, will have for company the RMN Bunga Mas 6 auxiliary vessel which is already in Australia with two vessels from China and one from Australia, he said.

KD Mutiara, commissioned on Dec 18, 1977, was built in Butterworth, Penang, by Hong Leong Lurssen Shipyard Sdn Bhd and is the lead ship of the 36th Hydrographic Squadron.

Flight MH370 dropped off radar on March 8 as it flew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board.

The Boeing 777 aircraft has yet to be found, even after an exhaustive search in the southern Indian Ocean where it is believed to have gone down after veering off course.