Chinese J-16 approaches an Australian P-8A and starts firing

CANBERRA ($1=1.42 Australian Dollar) — In late May, an incident between the Shenyang J-16 fighter jet of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and P-8A Poseidon of the Australian Air Force occurred over the South China Sea. Australia has filed a formal complaint with the Chinese government, alleging violations of international interception rules.

Chinese J-16 approaches an Australian P-8A and starts firing
Photo credit: Chinese MoD

On May 26, a Chinese J-16 fighter was leveled parallel to and at an altitude to the left of the Australian P-8A Poseidon patrolling. The Chinese J-16 fighter is on a training flight in which it has to remove a fired air lure. At this point, when both aircraft are close to each other, the Chinese fighter starts firing missiles in the direction of the bait [forward], then takes an even more dangerous maneuver – the fighter accelerates and crosses just below the nose trajectory of the Australian P-8A Poseidon.

However, the incident did not end with a traversed trajectory. Remains of Chinese lures were caught by the engine of the Australian P-8A Poseidon. They [the lures] fail to damage the engine, which is good for the pilots of the Australian plane to take it back to Australia and land successfully at the military base.

China has not yet officially responded to the Australians’ complaint. However, Canberra described the actions of the Chinese pilots as very dangerous, endangering the health of the crew of P-8A Poseidon. There is still no official information from the Australian authorities about possible damage to the military aircraft.

Chinese J-16 approaches an Australian P-8A and starts firing
Photo credit: Australian MoD

In recent years, tensions between China and the West [including Australia and Japan] have gradually been methodically accompanied by several incidents, some intentional and some unintentional. China is beginning to claim more and more territory in South China and East China Seas, thus trying to gain control of important shipping routes. Australia and the United States oppose these actions.


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