Beijing: China has deployed a navy frigate to join the search operation to locate the debris of the AirAsia aircraft that went missing on Sunday, officials said on Tuesday.
Frigate Huangshan has reached waters in the southern part of the South China Sea, said a statement from the PLA navy.
AirAsia flight QZ8501, an Airbus A320-200, carrying 162 people from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore, disappeared on Sunday.
An intense search has been launched for the past three days to locate the missing aircraft.
Teams searching for the plane found the first debris today in the Java Sea off Indonesia, but cause of the crash remained mysterious.
They have begun recovering dozens of bodies from the sea.
Of the 162 on board the plane were 155 passengers -- one British, one Malaysian, one Singaporean, three South Koreans, 149 Indonesians -- and seven crew members -- six Indonesians and a French co-pilot.
The PLA statement said the navy is preparing more forces for the rescue efforts to make sure they can reach the search zone in a timely way.