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Search for the missing Malaysian plane is homing in on the black boxes, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott today said, even as the official heading the hunt for Flight MH370 cautioned there was "no major breakthrough".
Abbott said searchers are "confident" about the position of the missing Malaysian Airlines MH370 jet's black box and they have narrowed down the search area based on a series of signals detected recently.
Abbott, who arrived in Beijing today, met Chinese President Xi Jinping and briefed him about the Australia-led multi-nation search for the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
He told Xi that he had "high-level confidence of strong detections" of the black boxes but there were huge challenges remaining in what would likely be a "long, slow and painstaking process" to locate it.
The Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 - carrying 239 people, including five Indians, an Indo-Canadian and 154 Chinese nationals - had mysteriously vanished on March 8 after taking off from Kuala Lumpur.
Abbott told Xi about the four pings consistent with that of a black box had been identified and that the search area had narrowed to just a matter of kilometres in the southern Indian Ocean.
"We are confident that we know the position of the black box flight recorder to within some kilometres (miles)."
However, the head of the agency coordinating the search sounded a note of caution in Perth, saying there had been "no major breakthrough".
"On the information I have available to me, there has been no major breakthrough in the search for Malaysian Airlines MH370 plane," Retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, the head of the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) which is leading the search.
Houston said, "I will provide a further update if, and when, further information becomes available."
Fifteen aircraft and 13 ships were deployed to search the missing plane today, a day after an Australian AP-3C Orion aircraft detected another ping signal.
Abbott said the missing of the plane "is one of the great mysteries of our time," and "it is probably the most difficult search in human history."
"Amidst tragedy, though, there is hope," he said.
The mystery of the missing Malaysian Airlines MH370 Boeing 777-200 continued to baffle aviation and security authorities who have so far not succeeded in tracking the aircraft despite deploying hi-tech radar and other gadgets even after searching for 35 days.
"Nevertheless, we're getting to the stage where the signal from what we are very confident is