The Australian Defence Forces has deployed a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft on Operation ARGOS as part of Australia’s commitment to enforcing United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions on North Korea. The P-8A Poseidon will operate from Kadena Airbase in Japan, conducting airborne surveillance to monitor and deter illegal ship-to-ship transfers of sanctioned goods in the region. Operation ARGOS is the Australian Defence Forces (ADF) commitment to the international effort to enforce United Nations Security Council sanctions on North Korea until it takes concrete steps towards denuclearisation.
Quotes attributable to Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Greg Bilton:“Operation ARGOS reinforces Australia’s commitment to nuclear non-proliferation and directly contributes to maintaining the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region alongside our partner nations. Australia remains committed to enforcing UN Security Council sanctions and our own sanctions against North Korea.This operation is Australia’s contribution to a multinational effort, alongside Canada, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States, who all conduct operations in support of UN Security Council resolutions.”
The ADF contributes by monitoring and deterring illegal ship-to-ship transfers of sanctioned goods. Australia supports UNSC sanctions through the deployment of maritime patrol aircraft and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) vessels. Since 2018, Australia has deployed RAAF maritime patrol aircraft on eleven occasions and RAN vessels eight times in support of the operation. Enforcing sanctions supports the international community’s goal of the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of North Korea. UNSC sanctions limit North Korea’s imports of refined petroleum and crude oil, and its exports of coal, all of which are facilitated by such transfers.
The P-8A Poseidon is Australia’s proven multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft. Based on the commercial design of Boeing’s 737-800, the P-8A is built specifically as a military aircraft and has been substantially modifiedNo. 92 Wing currently commands 12 P-8A aircraft which are operated by No. 11 and No. 292 Squadrons at RAAF Base Edinburgh. The P-8A Poseidon has deployed on a vast number of operations and exercises since its first arrival in 2016, ratifying its high capability to generate effects in its primary roles of: anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, search and rescue, maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissanc, overland intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.