EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA) have been based in Djibouti and an essential part of Operation Atalanta since 2009, they provide an unbroken expertise assisting and co-ordinating other MPRA contributors based both in Djibouti and the Seychelles. The German MPRA detachment in Djibouti consists of aircraft, aircrew, maintainers, picture analysts and operations personnel. The German Navy have already flown over 150 hours in the last month and has the capability to fly countless missions depending on the requirement of tasks throughout the Area of Operations.
The P-3C is the perfect aircraft for the operation able to take imagery intelligence, conduct radar surface searches and provide surveillance. All this comes with the inherent ability of speed, flexibility, endurance and range.
As well as providing the P3-C support to Operation Atalanta the valuable asset, originally from its home base in Nordholz, Germany can provide a focal point for search and rescue and Combat Search and Rescue (SAR) to the operation. This allows the co-ordination of SAR for all the units of the Atalanta Task Force.
Commander Millhahn of the German Navy, the Commanding Officer of the detachment, said:
” The advantage of the P-3C in this theatre is its ability to react quickly and swiftly to piracy threats.” He went onto say, “by using modern surveillance technology, we are capable of quickly assessing the situation and disseminating the information gained in order to warn international shipping and focus the investigation for cooperating naval units”
Additionally, MPRA’s are the instrument of choice to locate pirate logistic dumps on the coastline and pirate action groups at sea, able to cover a large search area.