US Navy to China on Instagram: “You Don’t Want to play Laser Tag With Us. The Chinese Navy recently pointed a laser in an unsafe and unprofessional manner at a #USNavy P-8A flying in airspace above international waters. These acts violate the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea, a multilateral agreement reached at the 2014 Western Pacific Naval Symposium to reduce the chance of an incident at sea.”
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You don’t want to play laser tag with us. ? #ICYMI The Chinese Navy recently pointed a laser in an unsafe and unprofessional manner at a #USNavy P-8A flying in airspace above international waters. These acts violate the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea, a multilateral agreement reached at the 2014 Western Pacific Naval Symposium to reduce the chance of an incident at sea.
Last month, a Chinese People’s Liberation Army-Navy destroyer pointed a military grade laser weapon at a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon, which is an aircraft designed specifically for various types of sea-based warfare, including anti-submarine operations. According to Defense Department reports, the P-8A was flying approximately 380 miles west of Guam when it encountered a Chinese destroyer believed to have been the Hohhot, among the latest and most advanced destroyers in China’s fleet.
The destroyer reportedly shined a laser weapon at the P-8A, though the laser caused no injuries or immediately recognizable damage. The aircraft is being inspected further for issues. Despite the low level of threat the laser posed, the U.S. Navy has been taking this attack quite seriously, recognizing it as a test, both of their weapon’s efficacy and of the American response.
China and the US, Russia and the US, it seems that we have had our hare of “unsafe encounters.” The laser pointed at the P8A-Poseidon was not a “laser pointer” like you get at Staples or OfficeMax, although some of the comments to the post thought that’s what it was. It was a weapots didn’t appear to cause any damage to the aircraft means that they specifically set it low. Did they think doing that was funny?
Likely this won’t be the last time for all these fun and games, by whatever country wants to play tag with the United States. But the US Navy, although keeping it somewhat “light” is not messing around. They’ve got some serious weaponry aboard some of our ships. China and even Russia would do well to bag the games.
Featured photo: US Navy laser weapon aboard the USS Dewey docked in San Diego in 2012. [U.S. Navy/John F. Williams]