Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada issued the order Friday to send two P-3C patrol airplanes to the Gulf of Aden, expanding the ongoing antipiracy mission of two Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers off Somalia.

The MSDF antisubmarine aircraft are scheduled to depart May 28 and join the 4,650-ton Sazanami and 4,550-ton Samidare, which were dispatched in March. The P-3Cs, on their first mission overseas, will use radar and infrared from the air to spot possible pirates.

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