US Navy says Chinese warship pointed laser at patrol aircraft near Guam

  • US Pacific Fleet calls the action last week ‘unsafe and unprofessional’ and a breach of code of conduct
  • Analyst describes it as a ‘serious provocation’ that could have posed a navigational hazard

South China Morning Post
Date: 28 Feb, 2020
By: Teddy Ng

The US said a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft was targeted as it flew over international waters in the western Pacific last week. Photo: AP

A Chinese destroyer pointed a laser at an American maritime patrol aircraft over the western Pacific Ocean last week, the US Navy said, calling the incident “unsafe and unprofessional”.

The US Pacific Fleet said in a statement on Friday that the destroyer targeted the P-8A Poseidon aircraft as it flew over international waters about 610km (380 miles) west of Guam on February 17.

“The laser, which was not visible to the naked eye, was captured by a sensor on board the P-8A,” the statement said. “Weapons-grade lasers could potentially cause serious harm to aircrew and mariners, as well as ship and aircraft systems.”

It said the action by the Chinese warship had breached the multilateral Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea, which “specifically addresses the use of lasers that could cause harm to personnel or damage to equipment”.    [FULL  STORY]