A Royal Australian Air Force P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft has arrived in the Middle East in support of the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC).
Minister for Defence, Linda Reynolds said the P-8A’s advanced surveillance capabilities will provide a modest but meaningful contribution.
“The P-8A will work alongside our coalition partners to ensure the safe passage of merchant vessels through the region, boost security and provide an advanced maritime patrol and surveillance capability,” Minister Reynolds said. “This is the first time the P-8A aircraft has operated in the Middle East and its deployment will support freedom of navigation in the region, which is a fundamental right of all states under international law.”
The maritime surveillance aircraft will be deployed for one month until the end of November 2019. The aircraft will provide an advanced maritime patrol and surveillance capability, to support the safe transit of naval and merchant vessels.
A small number of Australian Defence Force personnel are also serving in the IMSC’S Middle East headquarters.
It was announced in August that Australia will support the U.S.-led international maritime security mission in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman “reaffirming its commitment to freedom of navigation and safe passage through the Gulf region”. Britain and Bahrain are also participating in the mission.
The country will also deploy an Anzac class frigate to the Middle East in January 2020 for approximately six months.