ABC's Christophe Schpoliansky reports from Paris:
The French Defense Ministry announced today that France is sending one of its nuclear “hunter-killer” submarines to the presumed crash location of the A330 to help locate the black boxes. The “Emeraude” is expected on location next week.
This type of submarine does not transport nuclear missiles. Its mission is intelligence, intervention against sea attacks and protection of the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier and other submarines transporting nuclear missiles.
The 240-feet “Emeraude” can travel at a speed of 25 knots while underwater and can reach a maximum depth of “over a 1000 feet”, according to the French defense ministry.