US says Chinese ship fired laser at American aircraft

U.S. says Chinese warship fired a laser at American surveillance aircraft that could have BLINDED pilot

  • The Navy confirmed the incident more than a week after it happened about 380 miles west of Guam
  • It said the People’s Republic of China naval destroyer lased the American P-8A Poseidon aircraft
  • The statement from U.S. Pacific Fleet said the laser was detected by sensors on the aircraft, but was not visible to the naked eye 
  • Military-grade laser beams can omit a powerful beam of light that has the ability to temporarily blind pilots 

A Chinese Navy ship fired a laser at a U.S. surveillance aircraft flying over the Philippine Sea west of Guam, in an act that has been labelled ‘unsafe and unprofessional’.

The Navy confirmed the incident more than a week after it happened about 380 miles west of Guam. It’s not clear exactly which day the incident took place.

It said the People’s Republic of China naval destroyer lased the American P-8A Poseidon aircraft in an act the U.S. deemed unsafe and a violation of international codes and agreements. 

A sailor assigned to the Grey Knights of Patrol Squadron (VP) 46 signals the pilot in the flight station of a P-8A Poseidon during a pre-flight check on October 23, 2019 in Washington. A Chinese navy ship fired a laser at a U.S. surveillance aircraft flying over the Philippine Sea west of Guam

A Chinese Navel ship departs Sydney Harbour, Friday, June 7, 2019. A week ago, a naval ship shone a laser beam at a U.S. aircraft flying west of Guam

The Chinese naval ship was 380 miles west of Guam, as the aircraft flew over the Philippine Sea

The statement from U.S. Pacific Fleet said the laser was detected by sensors on the aircraft, but was not visible to the naked eye.

Military-grade laser beams can omit a powerful beam of light that has the ability to temporarily blind pilots. 

‘Weapons-grade lasers could potentially cause serious harm to aircrew and mariners, as well as ship and aircraft systems,’ the Navy said.  

Defense officials have since said that formal diplomatic protests known as demarche is expected to be issued, according to CNN.  

The Poseidon crew is deployed to Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan. The squadron conducts routine operations, maritime patrol, and reconnaissance in the Pacific Fleet area.

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