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Friday, August 22, 2014

✈ Chinese SU-27 Interceptor Barrel Roll Over US Navy Recon P-8 Poseidon ✈

It was this Monday Aug 18, 2014 that an Chinese SU-27 Interceptor Fighter Jet did a barrel roll "very, very close" over an American Navy P-8 Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft in International Airspace Near Japan about 135 miles east of China's Hainan Island. The rather reckless maneuver by the Chinese Su-27 pilot was to show that the SU-27 fighter jet was armed with missiles.

Chinese Su-27M Interceptor Jet Fighter Armed Missiles International Airspace Near Japan
Chinese Su-27M Interceptor Jet Fighter Armed Missiles
The US has lodged a formal protest with Beijing after the Chinese fighter jet conducted the barrel roll over the American Navy plane this week, the Pentagon has said.

Rear Admiral John Kirby said the Chinese plane exposed its undercarriage to show that it was armed to the P-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft during the Monday's incident in international airspace near Japan.

He said the Chinese aircraft came within 30ft (9 metres) of the American plane, while the wing tips of the two aircraft were just 20ft apart.

Adm Kirby have described the close encounter as "pretty aggressive, very unprofessional and unsafe".

The US plane is said by defence officials to have been conducting routine surveillance of the Chinese coast over the East China Sea at the time of its encounter with the Su-27 interceptor jet.

Adm Kirby told a regular press conference on Friday: "We have registered our strong concerns to the Chinese about the unsafe and unprofessional intercept which posed a risk to the safety and the well being of the air crew and was inconsistent with customary international law.

The Navy's P-8 Poseidon aircrafts are designed for long-range missions including intelligence collection and reconnaissance.

Boeing P-8 POSEIDON Multi-Mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA)
Boeing P-8 POSEIDON Multi-Mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA)
At the news briefing at Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, where President Barack Obama is vacationing at the moment, Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications called the intercept "a deeply concerning provocation". Ben Rhodes also suggested that the act could set back efforts to improve relations.

Chinese military officials have previously said American surveillance flights and monitoring of their facilities amount to a violation of sovereignty.

But the US has said such missions take place in international airspace and are therefore legitimate.

The alleged buzzing took place as Chinese air force and navy jets conducted combat simulation drills in the region.

The US plane had flown from an air base in Okinawa, Japan, that is the US Air Force's Pacific power hub. It was the second such close encounter this year for a US surveillance plane.

In April, a Russian Su-27 flew within 100ft of an RC-135 aircraft over waters north of Japan.

Last November, China declared an air defence zone over the East China Sea that sparked a maritime dispute with Japan and South Korea.

In 2001 a Chinese jet collided with a U.S. Navy surveillance aircraft off Hainan Island, killing the Chinese pilot and forcing the Navy plane to make an emergency landing on the island.  Washington severed military relations with China after that episode.

Adm Kirby: "Also, it undermines, and we've made it clear, that this undermines efforts to continue developing military-to-military relations with the Chinese military."

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