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Missing MH370: U.S. Asked For 'Specialist Assets' to Aid Hunt

Hishamuddin Hussein said he would speak to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Friday morning.

Malaysia will ask Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel for "specialist" help as the search for Flight 370 continues, the country's transport minister said Friday.

Hishamuddin Hussein told a news conference in Kuala Lumpur that he would be request “further specialist assets to help with the search and rescue efforts including remotely operated vehicles for deep ocean salvage” from the U.S.

The transport minister said he was scheduled to speak to Hagel at 9.15 a.m. ET.

An expert told NBC News on Thursday that only a handful of submersible vehicles worldwide were capable of traveling to the bottom of the area of the southern Indian Ocean where objects that may be related to the missing Boeing 777 have been spotted.

Hishamuddin also emphasized the international effort to search for the Malaysia Airlines jet, as more ships and aircraft were deployed to the southern Indian Ocean.

China has deployed five ships and three ship-borne helicopters to the area, while Japan has sent a P-3 Orion military search aircraft and Britain is sending a hydrographic survey ship, Hishamuddin said.

- Alastair Jamieson and Constance Cheng