US says Chinese warship fired military laser at US aircraft

Ryan Browne – CNN Feb 28, 2020

A P-8A Poseidon flying alongside a Lockheed P-3 Orion. Click to enlarge

The US Navy said Thursday that a Chinese military warship fired a military grade laser at US Navy P-8 surveillance aircraft last week while it was flying over the Pacific Ocean, an action that the US Navy called “unsafe and unprofessional.”

The People’s Republic of China “navy destroyer’s actions were unsafe and unprofessional,” US Pacific Fleet said in a statement Thursday.

“Weapons-grade lasers could potentially cause serious harm to aircrew and mariners, as well as ship and aircraft systems,” the statement added.

Military-grade laser beams, occasionally known as “dazzlers,” omit a powerful beam of light that can travel great distances and be used to illuminate aircraft cockpits, temporarily blinding pilots.

Defense officials told CNN that a formal diplomatic protests known as a démarche is expected to be issued.

The incident comes amid ongoing tensions between the US and Chinese militaries.

The Pentagon has repeatedly said that China represents an increasingly serious threat to regional security, saying that major Chinese investments in its military are aimed at achieving regional dominance.

“Over time, we have watched them seize and militarize islands in the South China Sea, and rapidly modernize their armed forces, while seeking to use emerging technologies to alter the landscape of power and reshape the world in their favor … and often at the expense of others,” US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said earlier this month.

The US has similarly issued such diplomatic protests in the past due to what the US said was Chinese military forces using lasers against US aircraft.

One such incident took place in the East African nation of Djibouti where both the US and China maintain military bases. US officials in 2018 accused Chinese forces stationed in Djibouti of injuring US pilots with a laser that was fired at a US C-130J aircraft.

 

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4 responses to “US says Chinese warship fired military laser at US aircraft”

  1. Who’s in whose back yard? I’m sick to death of these Yanks thinking they can start trouble anywhere they want to get snotty. They are poison and they will start the war that kills a billion and set the survivors back 5,000 years. (I don’t know anybody who can cast metal or weave clothing and I suspect neither do most people. These and other skills will have to be learned all over again.)

  2. Typical school yard bullies, they keep prodding the Dragon, and when the dragon shines a targeting laser they scream for mommy that the big bad dragon went Boooo,
    The yanks are pure cowards at heart, subject to brain traumas, assuring them a purple heart,
    And the orange man says they are the most powerful-greatest fighters in the world, more geriatric ramblings —
    Thankfully we live in great times – as – we are soon to see the take down of the supposed great usa along with its handlers israel the child killers. the land of sickos and de-generates will be gone.

  3. The US has cried wolf so many times its sky’s are falling down.

  4. Here we go again with the cold war paradigm part two. We’re all now supposed to believe that China and the West are mortal enemies even though China now owns a considerable chunk of Western land and Companies. They own the water supply in the UK for crying out loud. Enough of the fear porn regarding China please.