The US Navy has deployed three P-3 Orion maritime surveillance aircraft to the Seychelles islands to help fight pirates off the coast of Africa.

The US Navy sixth fleet command spokeswoman Commander Monica Rousselow said the three maritime surveillance aircraft from Patrol Squadron 26 moved from Djibouti in December.

“The P-3s are there to conduct surveillance missions that support US Africa Command’s goal in promoting stability and security within the region,” she said.

The P-3 Orion is a long-range, anti-submarine warfare patrol aircraft that features advanced submarine detection sensors such as directional frequency and ranging sonobuoys and magnetic anomaly detection equipment.

The 116.7ft-long aircraft can accommodate a crew of 11, and has a maximum cruising speed of 411ks and an operational range of 2,380nm.

The Seychelles are a group of islands about 1,500km off the coast of Africa.