Home Americas Chinese destroyer lases US maritime patrol plane over Philippine Sea

Chinese destroyer lases US maritime patrol plane over Philippine Sea

US Navy file photo

A Chinese People’s Liberation Army (Navy) destroyer lased a US Navy Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft in international waters off Guam.

The incident occurred on February 17, but the navy made the announcement ten days later, on February 27.

Identified as the Type 052D Hohhot by the US Navy, the destroyer lased the Poseidon approximately 380 miles west of Guam, in the Philippine Sea.

The P-8A was operating in international airspace in accordance with international rules and regulations. The navy labeled the destroyer’s actions as unsafe and unprofessional.

“Additionally, these acts violate the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES), a multilateral agreement reached at the 2014 Western Pacific Naval Symposium to reduce the chance of an incident at sea. CUES specifically addresses the use of lasers that could cause harm to personnel or damage to equipment. The destroyer’s actions were also inconsistent with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between U.S. Department of Defense and the Ministry of National Defense of the PRC regarding rules of behavior for safety of air and maritime encounters,” a navy statement read.

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