The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has deployed a P-8A Poseidon aircraft to the Middle East in support of a US-led internal maritime security coalition.

Australia is a member of the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC), which includes the US, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UK.

Headquartered in Bahrain, IMSC is aimed at safeguarding freedom of navigation and ensuring the safe passage of shipping assets through the Gulf.

A series of incidents in the Strait of Hormuz have led to a US-led multinational effort to enhance maritime security in the region.

The arrival of the P-8A Poseidon is in line with the Australian Government’s commitment to the coalition.

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By GlobalData

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.

“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 RAAF P-8A Poseidon will support the safe passage of assets by providing advanced maritime patrol and surveillance.

The Australian Department of Defence stated that the aircraft will be on the surveillance duty until the end of next month.

As part of its support to IMSC, the country also sent Australian Defence Force troops to the IMSC headquarters in Bahrain.

Following the withdrawal of the patrol and surveillance aircraft, the government will send an Anzac-class frigate to the Middle East in January next year for a six-month deployment.