The U.S. Navy prepared to pull back military search operations for the missing Malaysian Airlines jet on Monday, defense officials said.
The USS Kidd will cease search efforts in the Strait of Malacca and return to carrying out its normal Navy operations, officials told NBC News.
A Navy P-3 anti-submarine warfare plane will continue to scour the Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean, while a P-8 warfare aircraft will start searching areas northwest and west off of the coast of Australia, an official said.
Malaysian officials said Sunday they are focusing on two "corridors" stretching north across most of South Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India and south through Indonesia, Australia and the Indian Ocean.
Twenty-six countries are involved in the search for the plane, according to Malaysia's Ministry of Transport.
— Jim Miklaszewski
COMMANDER US 7TH FLEET PUBLIC/US / EPA
A handout picture made available by the US Navy on 17 March 2014 shows sailors inspecting the flight deck of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Kidd at sea in the Indian Ocean, March 16, 2014.
First published March 17 2014, 12:11 PM