The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has deployed a P-8A Poseidon aircraft to the Middle East to support the US-led international maritime security alliance.
Australia is a member of the International Maritime Security Commission (IMSC), which comprises the United States, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Kingdom.
A number of incidents in the Strait of Hormuz have led to a US-led international initiative to improve maritime security in the region.
The deployment of the P-8A Poseidon is in line with the commitment of the Australian Government to the alliance.
The Australian Defense Department has announced that the aircraft will be under surveillance until the end of next month.
The nation also sent Australian Defense Force troops to the IMSC headquarters in Bahrain as part of its support to IMSC.
After the withdrawal of the patrol and surveillance aircraft, the government will send the Anzac-class frigate to the Middle East in January of next year for a six-month deployment.
Australia Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said: “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.
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Headquartered in Bahrain, IMSC seeks to safeguard freedom of navigation and ensure the safe passage of maritime resources through the Mediterranean.
“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.”