A French nuclear submarine has arrived at the scene of the Air France crash off the coast of Brazil to search for the flight’s data recorders, which could be lying up to 6,000m deep on the bed of the Atlantic.
The black boxes, which emit a locator signal for about 30 days, could provide vital clues as to why the Airbus A330 crashed on 1 June, killing all 228 on board.
Brazilian air and sea searches have now recovered 41 bodies from the plane.
The submarine, the Emeraude, should be able to cover an area of 26 sq km each day.
The US is also joining the search, sending two listening devices that will be deployed on two large vessels hired by France.
Debris from the plane, which was flying from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, has been found some 1,000km (600 miles) north-east of the Fernando de Noronha islands. The islands are about 320km off the north-eastern coast of Brazil.
If the aircraft’s two black boxes are located, a mini-submarine called the Nautile will be sent down to retrieve them. The vessel is the same one which explored the wreck of the Titanic.
On Monday, a Brazilian search team recovered the vertical stabiliser from the tail section of the airliner, painted in Air France colours. This section is thought to help narrow the search for the aircraft’s black boxes, as the data and voice recorders are located in the fuselage near the tail of the jet.