MH370
A Malaysia Airlines plane at Kuala Lumpur airport. The next phase of the search is expected to cost around £29mGetty

Over six months since Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared, an international search and recovery team has discovered 58 "hard objects" which appear to be inconsistent with the southern Indian Ocean sea floor.

The Joint Agency Coordination Centre, which is leading the Australian government's search for the aircraft, is currently in the midst of retrieving the objects to be analysed for identification.

Speaking at a press conference, Malaysian transport minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said: "We have found 58 hard objects in the ocean floor, but have yet to identify if they are from flight MH370.

"Now, we have to deploy our assets to the sea floor to verify whether the objects are from MH370's wreckage, any other ship's wreckage or hard rocks before coming to any conclusion."

Liow added that the search had reached a crucial phase, involving a deep sea search and the mapping of a 60,000sq km (23,000sq mile) zone of the southern Indian Ocean seabed.

Malaysia's Petronas will be deploying its Go Phoenix vessel to join the search mission from 21 September. It is frequently used in oil exploration.

"Go Phoenix is currently en route to Perth, Australia, and the ship will join Fugro Survey Pty Ltd's Fugro Discovery, which is a vessel equipped with towed deep-water vehicles in the seabed mapping," Liow said.

"It is expected to reach Perth on Sept 21 and both vessels will be deployed to the search area in near time."

The equipment is expected to scan the seabed using side-scan sonar, video cameras and multi-beam echo sounders, with the hope of locating and identifying aircraft wreckage.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau previously said the sonar search had provided information on the depth of the water and the composition of the sea floor in the search zone.

So far, the only clues to the resting place of the Boeing 777-200 have been data exchanges with an Inmarsat satellite, which indicated the plane had ditched long an arc in the southern Indian Ocean to the west of Perth.

The news comes amid reports that the Indonesian police are aware of what happened to flight MH370.

An Indonesian online portal Tempo.co quoted Indonesian police chief Jenderal Sutarman as as saying the Malaysian police knew the reason for the disappearance of MH370, but would not elaborate further.

Inspector general of police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar denied the allegations in the newspaper Bernama.

"I was not informed of any such report. I would like to know which media and when such a report was published. I will ask my counterpart in Kapolri (Sutarman) whether he had said anything about the issue," he said.

MH370 vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on 8 March with 239 passengers on board.