The Australian Navy has announced it will send a frigate and AP-3C maritime patrol aircraft to fight against piracy off the Horn of Africa.

Australia will allow a frigate and AP-3C maritime patrol aircraft to operate between counter-terrorism and maritime security patrol duties in the middle east, where the craft are currently based, whilst working on anti-piracy missions in Africa under operation OP Slipper.

Australia will also provide commander and fleet battle staff to command anti-terrorism efforts under international Task Force 150 from the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).

In addition, a small number of Navy planning staff for multinational anti-piracy and maritime security management will also be provided to Bahrain CMF.

Minister for defence Joel Fitzgibbon said that piracy is a threat to global maritime security, including to Australia’s merchant trade and to Australian tourists passing through the Gulf of Aden and the Suez Canal.

“This contribution to international efforts will help to check piracy in the region, protect Australian and international maritime trade and underline their commitment to increasing targeted engagement with Africa,” Fitzgibbon said.