Daily US Times, Washington: The US Navy said that a Chinese military warship fired a military-grade laser at a US Navy surveillance plane while it was flying over the Pacific Ocean. The US Navy called the last week’s action ”unsafe and unprofessional.”
On Thursday, US Pacific Fleet said in a statement that China’s “navy destroyer’s actions were unsafe and unprofessional.”
The statement added: “Weapons-grade lasers could potentially cause serious harm to aircrew and mariners, as well as ship and aircraft systems.”
Military-grade laser beams omit a powerful beam of light that can travel a great distance and it is used to illiminate aircraft cockpits, temporarily blinding pilots. The laser occasionally known as ”dazzlers”.
US defense officials told that a formal diplomatic protest known as a démarche is expected to be issued.
The incident comes amid high tensions between the Chinese and US military.
The Pentagon has been repeatedly saying that China is becoming a serious threat to regional security and the country’s heavy investment in its military are aimed at achieving regional dominance.
US Defense Secretay Mark Esper said earlier this month that China seize and militarize islands on the South China Sea over time and rapidly modernize their armed forces, ”while seeking to use emerging technologies to alter the landscape of power and reshape the world in their favor … and often at the expense of others.”
The US claimed that China previously fired laser the US Navy planes and they similarly issued such diplomatic protests.
One such incident happened in Djibouti, the East African Nation, where both the US and China have military bases. In 2018, US officials accused Chinese forces stationed in Djibouti of injuring US pilots with a laser that was fired at a US C-130J aircraft.