Watch: J-11 flies 10ft from USAF jet, then cuts in front of it

WASHINGTON — On December 28, the Pentagon disclosed an incident that occurred in the South China Sea. Two military aircraft were involved in the incident. One was from the USAF inventory – the RC-135 Rivet Joint reconnaissance plane. The other was a Chinese J-11 fighter from the inventory of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force.

Chinese J-11 flies 10ft from USAF jet, then cuts in front of it
Photo credit: Wikipedia

On December 21, during a reconnaissance mission in the South China Sea, the American aircraft was intercepted by a Chinese fighter jet. However, the interception was very dangerous. The U.S. military says the J-11 came within 10 feet of the RC-135’s wing, causing a “buzzing noise,” as the Pentagon puts it.

Then, after a short escort, the J-11 made a sharp cut ahead of the American aircraft, coming within 20 feet of the nose of the RC-135.

The Pentagon described China’s maneuvers as irresponsible and dangerous and outside any rules in international neutral airspace. These dangerous maneuvers forced the pilot of the RC-135 to make maneuvers to avoid a possible collision. Indo-PACOM issued a statement declaring the Chinese pilot’s maneuvers “unsafe”.

There is a video of the incident circulating on the web. The Chinese fighter jet is seen to be very close to the left wing of the plane. Then he took a maneuver to stand at least briefly in front of the American plane. Another maneuver by the Chinese fighter follows, moving the two planes away from each other.

Despite this dangerous incident, Indo-PACOM says joint US Air Force and allied missions will continue. Washington called on the states that are located in this region to use international airspace safely in accordance with international law.

The incident is not the only one in the region in the last 12 months. All of this is happening at a time when the US and China are at odds over regional policy priorities. Talks between senior political and military officials between the two countries are ongoing to prevent such future incidents. The latest was on November 22 between Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and China’s Defense Minister, General Wei Fenghe.

The US insists that communications between Washington and Beijing not only remain, but also increase. The Pentagon believes that this is one of the ways to prevent future similar incidents and the increasingly dangerous behavior of Chinese fighter pilots.

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