China fires military-grade Dazzlers on P-8 Poseidon aircraft; Experts call it “the great weapon” for future battles
The United States and its allies in the Pacific remain at loggerheads with China over its growing military power in the region. China’s PLA Navy has again been accused of using laser beams that could seriously compromise the safety of an aircraft.
In a recent development that could spark a new rift between China and Western allies in the Pacific, a Chinese naval vessel has been accused of endangering the lives of Australian Defense Forces after a laser was pointed at a sea plane just north of Australia.
An RAAF P-8A Poseidon spotted a military-grade laser illuminating the aircraft in flight at 12:35 a.m. in February, the Australian Department of Defense (DoD) revealed. When the event occurred, up to ten people were on board the aircraft.
According to the Defense Ministry, the Chinese vessel was heading east across the Arafura Sea with another People’s Liberation Army and Navy vessel at the time. Since then, the two Chinese vessels have transited the Torres Strait and are now in the Coral Sea.
The Australian Defense Force (ADF) saw the two Chinese ships six times in five days, including south of the Indonesian island of Java, in the Timor and Arafura Seas, and eventually crossed the Torres Strait, according to the storyboard.
“These actions could have endangered the safety and lives of ADF personnel,” the DoD statement said. “Such actions do not meet the standards we expect of professional military personnel,” he added.
🚨🇦🇺The Australian Defense Force says a Chinese navy ship pointed a laser gun at an Australian plane in what they call a “serious security incident”. #China pic.twitter.com/i9ZRZQwRoB
— Terrorist Alarm (@terror_alarm) February 19, 2022
The incident comes at a time when tensions remain high between Australia and China as the latter expands into the Pacific and tries to establish influence among Pacific island countries. Australia sees this as a challenge to its power in its traditional sphere of influence.
However, this is not the first time that China has come under scrutiny for the use of laser weapons. In 2020, the US Navy also accused China of firing a military-grade laser at its P-8 surveillance plane flying over the Pacific, as CNN reported in a previous report.
The P-8A Poseidon is a multi-mission maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft used by the United States Navy for anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and airborne operations. humanitarian response.
#CHINA–#UNITED STATES: Chinese warship fired laser at US surveillance plane, US Navy says. The US Pacific Fleet statement says the laser was detected by sensors on the aircraft, but was not visible to the naked eye. The incident occurred 380 miles west of #Guam. pic.twitter.com/O0RyvdYP8a
— ASB News / WORLD 🌍 (@ASB_Breaking) February 29, 2020
The United States has already filed similar diplomatic protests in response to Chinese military personnel who allegedly used lasers against American planes.
Chinese military allegedly targeting US flight crews in #Djibouti using lasers. #China does not necessarily try to blind pilots, but could try to temporarily blind aircraft sensors to prevent surveillance of Chinese facilities. https://t.co/E0FH2VBq6f pic.twitter.com/v8KhidEOfZ
—RANE (@RANEnetwork) May 3, 2018
Such an event occurred in Djibouti, an East African country where the United States and China have military posts. The Chinese military stationed in Djibouti was accused by US officials in 2018 of injuring US pilots with a laser fired at a US C-130J aircraft.
Additionally, Australia had also reported that hand-held lasers were increasingly being used against ADF assets in 2019, with military officials blaming tiny Chinese maritime militia vessels.
Military-grade laser beams, sometimes called “dazzling”, create a powerful beam of light that can travel huge distances and can be used to temporarily blind pilots by illuminating aircraft cockpits.
The use of high-energy lasers for naval applications is gaining traction among global military forces, with China among those vying for supremacy in the region.
Laser-based directed energy weapons have a cheap cost per shot and nearly infinite magazines, making them an efficient and effective way to defend against missile salvoes or unmanned robot swarms.
Many countries, including the United States, China, Israel, France, Germany, and Russia, have long pursued aggressive research to develop laser weapons and gain an advantage over others.
According to experts, laser weapons have the potential to change the face of battle and are extremely important for next-generation warfare. An arms race for laser weapons has long since begun. The United States has a stronger technological base, but China is trying to close the gap.
Laser weapons are being developed by China for warships and fighters. Chinese warships were equipped with modern generators to power high-energy weapons such as lasers and railroad guns, according to state media in July 2020. The specific types of the warships have not been disclosed, but they were widely assumed to be the most modern destroyers in the country, such as the Type 055 guided missile destroyer.
The use of these weapons has been regulated for some time. The United Nations published the Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons in 1995 to help defuse potential future conflicts, and it entered into force in July 1998. The convention had been ratified by 108 countries by April 2018.
The convention prohibits the employment of laser weapons specially designed to induce permanent blindness as their only or one of their combat roles.
The deployment of such lethal weapons could trigger a feud between China and its opponents in the Pacific. An unfortunate incident could also lead to an unwarranted escalation.
China’s maneuvers in the Pacific have not gone well with the United States and its allies. The United States has strengthened its defenses in Guam and Australia to defend its Pacific assets against a Chinese threat.
On the other hand, Australia has signed an agreement with the United States and the United Kingdom called AUKUS, in order to acquire nuclear-powered submarines to be deployed in the Pacific. He also raced against China to come to the aid of the stricken Tonga Islands.
At a time when the rivalries between the two sides have become so inflated and the relationship has essentially reached a nadir, any untoward incident can lead to unforeseen events.