A People’s Republic of China navy destroyer 161 shot a weapons-grade laser at a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol planes in a new shift that U.S. Pacific Line tagged “unsafe and unprofessional” in a statement Thursday.
The event occurred on February 17 in the Philippine Sea nearly 380 miles west of Guam while the P-8A Poseidon crew was “functioning in international airspace following international guidelines and regulations,” based on a recent service press release.
The laser couldn’t be seen by a human eye; however, it was photographed by sensors on the airplane.
The P-8A is assigned to VP-45, based out of Jacksonville, Florida, and is forward-deployed to Kadena Air Force Base in Japan. The squadron performs regular operations, maritime patrol and surveillance in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of missions.
U.S Navy aircraft regularly fly in the Philippine Sea and have performed so for many years. U.S. Navy planes and ships will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere overseas law permits.
U.S. 7th Fleet is the most extensive numbered line in the world. With the support of 35 other maritime-nation allies and associates, the U.S. Navy has operated in the Indo-Pacific area for over a century, offering credible, ready forces to help maintain peace and end the battle.