German P-3C Orion MPRA returns to Djibouti

A German P-3C Orion maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft (MPRA) and its crew have returned to Djibouti to rejoin the fight against piracy as part of the EU NAVFOR-led operation Atalanta.

The P-3C, its crew and supporting staff deployed to the Horn of Africa area of operations on March 23 to work alongside the Spanish MPRA detachment which is permanently based in Djibouti.

The German aircraft will enhance the support that the Spanish MPRA already provides to Op Atalanta, with imagery intelligence, radar surface searches and surveillance.

Both the Spanish and German aircraft will be on task in the area of operations, monitoring developments and providing situational awareness on land and at sea to assist EU NAVFOR’s warships. The P-3C has been used to assist vessels under pirate attack in the past, working either alone or in coordination with other assets such as EU NAVFOR helicopters and warships.

Spain and Germany have both been deploying MPRAs to the area since the start of operation Atalanta in 2008.

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