Australia: Australian military aircraft targeted with lasers during South China Sea flights - - PressFrom - Australia
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AustraliaAustralian military aircraft targeted with lasers during South China Sea flights

20:26  28 may  2019
20:26  28 may  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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Australian military officials believe laser attacks on Navy helicopter pilots during exercises in the South China Sea came from fishing boats, though it is not yet confirmed if the vessels were Chinese flagged.

Control of the South China Sea is one of the most contentious and explosive diplomatic issues in East Asia. For centuries, various regional powers have laid The US has grown © Provided by ABC News Australian pilots of MHR-90 helicopters were targeted with lasers during South China Sea flights .

Chinese maritime militia vessels are believed responsible for a series of laser attacks on Australian navy pilots during a recent voyage through the hotly contested South China Sea.

Australian military aircraft targeted with lasers during South China Sea flights© Provided by ABC News Australian pilots of MHR-90 helicopters were targeted with lasers during South China Sea flights. Defence sources have confirmed helicopters were targeted during night flights, forcing the pilots to temporarily return to their ship for medical check-ups.

The incidents occurred as Australian warships were completing Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2019, an ADF regional engagement mission which wrapped up this week.

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Australian military helicopters were targeted with lasers during operations in the South China Sea this month.

The Australian National University maritime law expert Don Rothwell noted this was the first time the Australian military had been the target of lasers . “They effectively view the South China Sea as being a Chinese lake enclosed within the nine dash line. Any foreign military activity … [is] seen to

Australian military aircraft targeted with lasers during South China Sea flights
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This week the ABC revealed the Australian Task Group had been closely followed earlier this month by Chinese warships as they travelled between Vietnam and Singapore through the South China Sea.

Australian military officials believe the laser attacks on the navy helicopters came from fishing boats, but it has not yet been formally confirmed if the vessels were Chinese flagged.

Beijing maintains a robust maritime militia in the South China Sea composed of fishing vessels equipped to carry out missions just short of combat.

The Australian Defence Department is yet to comment publicly, but similar incidents involving lasers and the Chinese military have also been reported as far away as Djibouti, where the US and China have bases.

Australian ships tailed by Chinese military in South China Sea

Australian ships tailed by Chinese military in South China Sea The ABC can reveal the Australians were closely tailed by the Chinese military earlier this month as they made their way towards Vietnam, and as the Task Group departed Cam Ranh port. "We were sensitive to all navy interactions, we train for that, we're aware of how they will behave and how we behave, so I had no extra worries about it at all, I was confident in the capabilities of the Royal Australian Navy and the ADF," Commodore Owen said. "They'll want to know who we are, where we're going and what our intentions are, and the Chinese were no different — they were friendly, they were professional.

Chinese maritime militia vessels are believed responsible for a series of laser attacks on Australian Navy pilots during a recent voyage through the hotly contested South China Sea . Defence sources have confirmed helicopters were targeted during night flights , forcing the pilots to temporarily return

Australian military aircraft targeted with lasers during South China Sea flights . Boeing subsidiary Tapestry Solutions has won a 10-year contract worth up to 9 million from the US Air Force (USAF) to provide Weapon Planning Software for the service’s combat aircraft .

Last year, the US complained to China after lasers were directed at aircraft in the Horn of Africa nation that resulted in minor injuries to two American pilots.

Following reports last year of a series of laser attacks on US aircraft in the Pacific, the Australian Defence Department publicly condemned the practice.

"The Australian Government would view reports of military aircraft being targeted by lasers as an unwelcome and potentially dangerous development," a Defence spokesperson told the ABC in July 2018.

Beijing has routinely denied any involvement in laser attacks on US aircraft, but this is the first publicised incident to have targeted Australian personnel.

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