Home » Aviation » Official: Pair of Chinese Fighters Unsafely Intercept U.S. Navy Aircraft Over South China Sea


Official: Pair of Chinese Fighters Unsafely Intercept U.S. Navy Aircraft Over South China Sea

A P-3C Orion aircraft in 2016. US Navy Photo

Two Chinese fighters unsafely intercepted a U.S. Navy P-3C Orion anti-submarine warfare aircraft over the South China Sea this week, a U.S. defense official told USNI News on Friday.
The P-3C was flying about 150 miles southeast of Hainan Island on patrol when it was engaged by two Chengdu J-10 fighters on May 24 at about 7:30 A.M. local time.

While one fighter took up position about 800 yards off the Orion’s right wing, the other maneuvered about 200 yards in front of the P-3 and began making slow turns in front of the U.S. aircraft. The crew of the P-3 determined the behavior of the Chinese aircraft during the 20-minute encounter was “unsafe,” the official told USNI News.

Chinese fighters have been known to intercept U.S. aircraft operating near Hainan, a major center of the People’s Liberation Army Navy submarine operations.

Two Chengdu J-10 People’s Liberation Army Air Force fighters. PLAAF Photo

In May of 2016, the U.S. complained of an unsafe intercept of an U.S. EP-3E Aries II by a pair of Shenyang J-11 fighters near Hainan. In 2014, A U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon was intercepted by a J-11 near Hainan island in an encounter where the J-11 cut in front of the Poseidon to show off its weapons loadout.

In 2001, an attempted intercept of an E-P3 Aries by a People’s Liberation Army Navy Shenyang J-8 Finback in the region resulted in the death of the Finback pilot and the Aries making an emergency landing on Hainan Island.

  • E1 Kabong

    Prove it.

  • DaSaint

    Looks very similar to Eurofighter Typhoons. Nothing new here in terms of actions.

    • E1 Kabong

      ???

      Go look at the Lavi.

      • Cocidius

        The J-10 is bigger than the Lavi. Size wise its closer to the French Rafale or the Eurofighter Typhoon.

        • E1 Kabong

          Thanks Capt.Obvious.
          So, you’re saying since the J-10 is bigger, it has NOTHING to do with the Lavi?
          Wow…

          Go read up on the Israeli cooperation in the late 80’s – early 90’s.

          Look at a Lavi.

          Look at a J-10.

          Now the Lavi.

          Now the J-10.

          It’s well known that they provided the Chinese with their Lavi technology pre-Tiannamen Square.

          • Cocidius

            Let’s take your comments from the top shall we?

            1. There is not a shred of evidence anywhere that the J-10 is a copy of the Lavi or that any technology transfer occurred related to the Lavi. There is evidence that Israel shared other technology (the PL-8 is a Chinese version of the Rafael Python AAM missile, and AESA radar information was shared for the Chinese AWACS program for the KJ-2000).

            2. Looking at one canard delta wing fighter and inferring that it’s a copy of another because they look similar is hilarious. Using that same flawed thinking we could say that the Saab Viggen is a copy of the Lavi, that the French Rafale is a copy of the Lavi, that the Saab Gripen is a copy of the Lavi, and that the Typhoon is a copy of the Lavi.

            3. The J-10 and the Lavi have totally different dimensions, different weights, different engines, totally different avionics, different weapons systems, different radar, etc. etc.

            4. There were design mock ups of the J-10 that were created by Chengdu years before the Lavi was ever produced (maybe you should be the one doing some reading).

            The idea that a nation that builds the worlds fastest supercomputers and has advanced manned spaceflight can’t build an indigenous fighter is simply ridiculous.

          • E1 Kabong

            Let’s start your SCHOOLING, shall we?

            First:

            Israel DID co-operate with China, if you bothered to do some reading.

            http://www.washingtonreport
            DOT
            me/2007-april/has-israels-u.s.-funded-lavi-jet-been-reborn-as-chinas-j-10-warplane.html

            Second & Third:

            Look at a Lavi.

            Look at a J-10.

            Now the Lavi.

            Now the J-10.

            Fourth:

            Cite your sources, boy.

            Fifth and final teaching for you, sonny:

            What’s China’s record for producing fighter engines like?
            Want to chat about their garbage helicopters?

            Go read up on their purchase of ALL the surplus RAF Spey engines from their Phantoms, before you shoot off your yap again.

  • Cocidius

    I find the timing of this latest incident suspicious.

    Is this a direct response to the recent FON ops by the USS Dewey?

  • teapartydudeabides

    the Chinese pilots are making up for their manly inadequacies

  • Marjus Plaku

    Good. Nice to collect some up and close data on that exhaust pipe for our heat seeking missiles and IRST sensors for when it really matters.
    But the J-10 will be plucked out of the sky before then anyway so ehh.

  • Ed L

    shame that airplanes aren’t equipped with an anti collision device that emits an emp up to 100 feet from an aircraft

  • Michael D. Woods

    No, we didn’t. There was a protocol during the cold war wherein when Russian Bears flew down the East Coast to Cuba, we’d thump ’em (make supersonic passes) until they opened their bomb bays, then we flew formation underneath to ensure they were empty.

  • The Plague

    Grotesque, ain’t it, how the advancement of technology can actually end up retarding operations : back in prop-driven WWII days, there used to exist this category, the “long-range heavy escort fighter”. Mosquitoes, P-38s, P-51s, Tigercats and P-61s could all fill that role in numbers. Several more types after the war. Then came the jet-age, and range all but croaked : very few jet-powered planes had range and could still be called a fighter – Vigilante was one (so-so), the Voodoo was another (so-so), and, depending on configuration, the Tomcat was up in that league too. Of these, only the Tomcat was a true fighter. The F-111 could also have been adapted to be a successful machine in the long-range fighter role, had there been an institutional interest. It would never have been as good a fighter as the Tomcat, but it could have been good enough. And that’s it – nothing else could master range and speed. Technology advanced, but overall design just got so much dumber. If the hands who had built the Tomcat had been given some machining technologies that are available today, plus some materials that were only experimental back then, then their brainchild would have put the Blackbirds to shame (almost).
    And now we have the Navy and the AF sending up these bare-a$$ EP-3s and Rivet Joints, because there ain’t a “technologically advanced” fighter-type that could give them effective escort at range. Sometimes I feel like crying at how stupid this nation has become in only two decades…

    • Jim DiGiacomo

      The Russians certainly have long-range fighters, SU-24, 30, 33, 34, 35 and the MIG-31. The Chinese have the J-11 and the new stealthy J-20.

      • The Plague

        Yeah, they ripped off everything they could to make those, and they certainly have good nominal range. But actual fuel-consumption in real-world scenarios make them less than stellar performers. They don’t have the magic of F-111, for example, which was able to persist in the trans-sonic regime for sustained periods and still have range.

  • john fleming jr

    Let our fighters fly with the P-3 from now on !

    • Michael D. Woods

      There’s a bit of an endurance problem there. P-3s can fly a long time.

      • john fleming jr

        We need to stop this and show power​

        *Can’t read to small*

        • Dennis

          The whole world is aware of our power. Especially now that the dancing fool has been replaced. Our enemies are in time-out thanks to the Donald! He’s got them thinking twice!

      • Dennis

        So can our KC-135s

    • Dennis

      Don’t need to. They’re not far.

      • Urodoc

        That may well be true, but nothing says “DON’T MESS WITH US” as two Super Hornets with a full AAW load out flying in close formation with a P-3 or P-8. Knowing something is possibly near by is one thing, but actually visually confirming it is quite another.

        • Dennis

          The Chinese would do the same thing: fly around. They certainly wouldn’t attack the Orions nor the fighters. They would just be a nuisance, like always. If they ever DID decide to shoot down a U.S. plane, they wouldn’t make it back to their base (which probably wouldn’t exist anymore anyway).

  • omegatalon

    This is a situation where having the SR-71 Blackbird would make a big difference as you can cruise over the area at Mach 3 to collect information while leaving the Chinese fighter jets in the dust; but what happened to the CIA’s spy satellites as in years past they would simply park a satellite over the area and collect information.

    • Dennis

      We know what they were doing, when, where they came from, and who the pilots were. They know that, too. We know what they had on their own radar. There was no threat. The press wants to sell newspapers. They opine after every fact, which they don’t seem to relate. Listen closely to the three major media. Listen for the opinions – you’ll be amazed!
      Example: Trump delays decision regarding the Paris ECO talks
      CBS: “Trump has America joining other smaller countries in not caring about the future!”

  • Ed L

    add tanking ability to the Recce aircraft. And fighters with Conformal Fuel Tanks (CFTs)

  • Centaurus

    Then let’s just do a load out of some old Falcon AAM’s with the 1-kilo warhead while we’re at it. The ones that have the live airshot overhead of some observers (!) at the Nevada Test Site in the 60’s. See Youtube.
    That will definitely be good sizzling duck.

  • John B. Morgen

    Where were our fighters? Our P-3C aircraft should have fighters assigned to protect the P-3 Orion aircraft from Chinese aircraft.