Last updated Sunday, October 26, 2014 09:38am

The US has sent its guided missile destroyer, the USS Kidd, into the Indian Ocean in search of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. — Reuters picThe US has sent its guided missile destroyer, the USS Kidd, into the Indian Ocean in search of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. — Reuters picKUALA LUMPUR, March 15 ― Missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 could have gone down in the Bay of Bengal or the Indian Ocean, a classified analysis of electronic and satellite data by the United States and Malaysian governments indicated.

A report by news service CNN said both governments' analyses used radar data and satellite signals to calculate that the plane diverted to the west, across peninsular Malaysia, and then either flew in a northwest direction toward the Bay of Bengal or southwest into the Indian Ocean.

News of the analysis comes as the US has sent the USS Kidd, a guided missile destroyer, into the Indian Ocean while Indian officials have expanded their search effort into the Bay of Bengal.

This appears to support an earlier hypothesis by US officials that an automated reporting system on the airliner was pinging satellites for hours after its last reported contact with air traffic controllers.

According to raw military radar data released by Malaysia, the missing aircraft climbed to 45,000 feet ― above the Boeing 777’s approved operating altitude ― in the moments after its transponders stopped communicating.

MH370 then fell sporadically before reaching 23,000 feet ― well below the 35,000 feet cruising altitude — as it flew over Penang, the New York Times reported yesterday citing US government officials and sources familiar with the investigation.

The Beijing-bound plane with 239 people onboard has now been missing for over a week.

Its transponders stopped communicating when it was 120 nautical miles east of Kelantan and when it was at over 30,000 feet.

But the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s (RMAF) radar tracked a plane that may be MH370 in an “air turnback” and recorded the aircraft flying to the Straits of Malacca, before it lost the signal 200 nautical miles northwest of Penang on March 8.

The RMAF explained that the flight movements were recorded and not observed live. It also said the apparent intrusion by an unidentified aircraft into Malaysian airspace did not trigger security alarms as the plane’s profile did not indicate it was a hostile craft.

In the Gallery


  • Muslims perform a special prayer for passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane at the departure hall of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport March 13, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • The Royal Malaysian Navy corvette KD Terengganu and a Sea Hawk helicopter from the USS Pinckney conduct a search for a missing MH370 in the Gulf of Thailand March 12, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A woman wearing a mask against the haze walks past a board saying ‘Pray for MH370’ in front of the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A woman who cries is seen through a door of a room for relatives or friends of passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines MH370, at a hotel in Beijing, March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • College students in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province, China hold placards near lit up candles as they pray for passengers of the missing MH370 plane, March 13, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • College students light up candles as they pray for passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province, March 13, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Malaysia Airlines Commercial Director Hugh Dunleavy sits in front of a large projection screen at a briefing for the family members of passengers on board the missing MH370 aircraft, at a hotel in Beijing March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A woman shouts to journalists, in front of a hotel in Beijing, March 14, 2014, asking not to take pictures of families of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane MH370. — Reuters pic

  • A woman cries as she walks out of a room for relatives or friends of passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, at a hotel in Beijing, March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A family member of a passenger on board the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 reacts during a briefing from the Malaysia Airlines at a hotel in Beijing March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Family members of passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 sit on chairs as they wait for news at a hotel in Beijing March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Philippine Navy crew members onboard the Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas Apolinario Mabini (Patrol Ship 36) scour the West Philippine Sea, as they search for the missing Malaysia Airline MH370 plane, in this picture supplied by the Philippine Navy.

  • DCA chief Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and MAS CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya at a press conference on MH370 today at KLIA in Sepang, on March 13, 2014. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

  • DCA chief Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and MAS CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya at a press conference on MH370 today at KLIA in Sepang, on March 13, 2014. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

  • A man reads a Tamil newspaper with a story about the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 on its front page in Kuala Lumpur March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A 'Pray for MH370' message displayed at the digital board at the Projek Lebuhraya Utara Selatan (PLUS) expressway near the E6 link. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

  • A member of a rescue team takes part in a search and rescue operation to find the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, in the Straits of Malacca March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A member of a rescue team looks through binoculars during a search and rescue operation to find the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, in the Straits of Malacca March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A 'Pray for MH370' projection is seen on the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) building in Kuala Lumpur March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

Malaysia later released the highly-confidential raw data from its primary radar to nations assisting the investigations, including superpowers US and China.

Yesterday, the NYT cited a “person who examined the data” as MH370 flew near or through the southern tip of Thailand, then back across peninsular Malaysia towards Penang, before venturing into the Straits.

Recent revelations continue to reinforce the hypothesis that the plane was deliberately taken off course and flow in the direction of the Indian Ocean, where rescuers are now scouring for signs of MH370.

Yesterday, satellite firm Inmarsat confirmed it continued to receive establishing signals from the plane hours after it stopped responding to air traffic controllers.

On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal cited US officials as saying Rolls Royce, whose engines power the Boeing 777-200ER used by MH370, received performance data bursts from the plane after it lost signal, suggesting it flew for hours after that point in time.

Rolls Royce and Boeing have since denied receiving any such data.