The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Anzac Class frigate HMAS Toowoomba is set to officially join the US-led combined task force as the first ship from Australia to fight piracy off the coast of Somalia.

As part of the navy’s new mission in the Middle East, the warship will patrol the waters of the Gulf of Aden, the Somalia Basin and the Horn of Africa.

Chief of Joint Operations Command lieutenant general Mark Evans said the frigate will provide a major deterrent presence including merchant shipping escorting as well as tracking and reporting on any piracy situations.

All anti-piracy activities conducted by the navy are in accordance with the International Law of the Sea and support and safeguard merchant vessels.

The navy previously deployed two ships to escort merchant vessels in 2009 that were not officially part of the international task force.