The crew of a Royal Air Force A400M Atlas aircraft from 30 Squadron, RAF Brize Norton, observe the coastline of Dover in order to identify potential migrants coming across the English Channel from France yesterday (10/08/2020).

Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, approved the use of a Royal Air Force A400M to support the Home Office and UK Border Force in their operations in the Channel.

The aircraft will provide surveillance and intelligence, feeding information directly to the UK Coastguard and Border Force, which will facilitate the quicker interception of boats. The Border Force will then be able to take the appropriate action that best fits the situation, whilst also complying with Maritime law.

The deployment of the A400M Atlas, permits surveillance to be carried out with a greater field of vision over a wider area. It therefore represented the most effective use of available resources. This constitutes the MOD’s initial offer of support to the Home Office, and further work is being carried out to determine who the MOD can further assist in the Channel.

This is the first time that a military aircraft has flown in support of the Border Force, but the Royal Navy has previously offered support, most notably in January 2019.

Image: Crown Copyright 2020.

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