A satellite industry official says that Malaysia Airlines refused to buy a $10 upgrade to the Swift computer systems of its Boeing 777 aircraft that, had they been installed, would have continued to supply data even after the transponder and ACARS were disabled. The Swift upgrade would have transmitted information on engine performance, fuel consumption, speed, altitude and direction to the satellite network. Malaysia Airlines responds:
The need for SWIFT has never been mandated and all our aircraft have what is called the Aero H SATCOM communications systems. This installation is sufficient to meet all of MAS’s operational requirements and at the same time meets all international requirements that enable us to fly international airways. The statement that this $10 per flight upgrade will provide direction, speed and altitude in the event that the communications were deliberately shutoff from the aircraft is untrue.