On Wednesday 21st April, a Portuguese Maritime Patrol Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA) arrived in Victoria, Seychelles, to augment the other Maritime Patrol aircraft from Sweden and Luxemburg of EU NAVFOR’s anti piracy operation – Atalanta.
|Portugise MPRA p3 Papa|
Source: EU NAVFOR
During the next four months the Portuguese P3 Papa aircraft will monitor the waters off the coast of Somalia providing the Force Commander with essential information on the movements of ships in the area.
This is the first time a MPRA from Portugal has participated in the EU NAVFOR operation. The aircraft is a P3 Papa, equipped with several advanced surveillance systems which will significantly enhance EU NAVFOR’s Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capability in the Somali Basin. The MPRA is manned by a military crew of 41 support personnel from the Portuguese Air Force.
EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation ATALANTA’s main tasks are to escort merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the ‘World Food Program’ (WFP) and vessels of the ‘African Union Mission for Somalia’ (AMISOM), and to protect vulnerable ships in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean and to deter and disrupt piracy. EU NAVFOR also monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.