DoD Releases Videos Of Chinese Fighters Performing ‘Unprofessional’ Intercepts Of US Spyplanes

DoD Releases Videos Of Chinese Fighters Performing 'Unprofessional' Intercepts Of US Spyplanes


A Chinese language J-11B flying near a P-8A Poseidon throughout one of many shut encounters final yr. (through DoD)

The Division of Protection has made public a collection of photographs and movies that may  present “unprofessional” and “reckless” maneuvers carried out by the Chinese language pilots throughout the shut encounters with the U.S. spyplanes. Nevertheless, a few of these clips don’t appear to indicate something too harmful.

On Oct. 17, 2023, the Division of Protection released declassified materials, together with pictures and movies, shot throughout 15 latest instances of what they name “coercive and dangerous operational conduct by the Individuals’s Liberation Military (PLA) Air Pressure and Navy towards U.S. plane working lawfully in worldwide airspace within the East and South China Sea areas”.

Based on the Pentagon, “The declassified photographs and movies had been captured throughout lawful U.S. air operations, throughout which PLA operators engaged in coercive and dangerous actions, together with reckless maneuvers, shut approaches at excessive speeds within the air, releasing objects and projectiles like flares, and different harmful conduct.”

Whereas some photographs actually present the Chinese language fight plane performing some harmful maneuvers in shut proximity of the intercepted plane, others appear to be fairly regular shut encounters. Nevertheless, the rationale might also be that the imagery was not taken within the second when the aggressive/harmful maneuver was carried out.

Anyway, in the previous few years we’ve got usually reported concerning the Pentagon’s protests for the “reckless” and “unprofessional” behaviour of the Russian or Chinese language pilots buzzing their spyplanes, nevertheless, as an RC-135 pilot instructed us commenting comparable incidents, “what passes for harmful and provocative as we speak was ho-hum to recon crews of my technology”.

Typically talking, cutting across the nose of the intercepted plane, forcing it to fly via the fighter’s wake turbulence, in definitely thought-about an unprofessional and dangerous manner of conducting an interception in worldwide airspace. Much more harmful is releasing chaff and flares within the course of, since these countermeasures may very well be ingested by the engines and might all kinds of bodily injury to the intercepted plane.

That being stated, let’s take a look on the lately declassified materials.

January 11, 2022

A PLA fighter (that seems to be a J-16 Flanker by-product) crossed in entrance of the U.S. plane at a distance of 100 yards, forcing the U.S. plane to fly via the PLA aircraft’s wake turbulence.

J-16 slicing throughout the nostril of a P-8A Poseidon.
One other picture of the J-16 taken from the P-8.

April 29, 2022

Based on the DoD, over the course of 5 hours, 4 PLA plane (together with Su-30MKK and JH-7A and J-10) performed this intercept (on what was in all probability an EP-3E spyplane), at one level reaching a distance of simply 75 ft from the U.S. aircraft. The photographs and movies don’t present something too harmful really. There’s a photograph of one of many Flanker-derivative plane releasing flares, however they don’t appear to be within the path of the intercepted plane.

PLA fighter intercepting an EP-3E.
J-11B releasing a flare.

Might 24, 2022

Based on the DoD, this incident occurred within the East China Sea. “The PLA fighter jet first sped towards the U.S. asset and crossed underneath the aircraft’s nostril, inflicting the U.S. plane to lose visible contact of the PLA fighter. After the U.S. pilot opened far between the 2 planes, the PLA pilot re-approached at a distance of simply 15 ft laterally and 10 ft beneath the U.S. aircraft.”

Essentially the most fascinating picture launched about this incident, that concerned a JH-7A and an EP-3E, is the one beneath, the place you possibly can see the Chinese language bomber crossing the flight path of the U.S. aircraft.

JH-7 as seen from the EP-3E

Right here’s one other picture exhibiting the Chinese language plane near the U.S. spyplane.

JH-7 shadowing the U.S. spyplane.

June 23, 2022

A P-8A was intercepted by J-11B and Su-30MKK over the South China Sea. Based on the DoD the Chinese language plane approached to a distance of simply 40 ft earlier than repeatedly flying above and beneath the U.S. plane and flashing its weapons.  After the U.S. operator radioed the PLA fighter jet, the PLA pilot responded utilizing express language, together with an expletive.

Shut up on the crew members of the Chinese language J-11B Flanker by-product intercepting a P-8A.

December 21, 2022

A video launched by USINDOPACOM in December 2022 captures a PLA J-11 performing an unsafe maneuver towards a U.S. RC-135 within the South China Sea. The PLA operator flew in entrance of and inside 20 ft of the nostril of the U.S. aircraft, forcing the U.S. plane to take evasive maneuvers to keep away from a collision. This isn’t seen within the footage made obtainable by the Pentagon.

January 11, 2023

A detailed encounter much like the one in every of December 2022: a J-11 intercepts a U.S. RC-135 within the South China Sea. The discharge video doesn’t present something actually harmful however, at a sure level throughout the interplay, the Chinese language plane flew at a distance of simply 30 ft from the U.S. aircraft.

February 7, 2023:

One other J-11B intercepts a U.S. asset within the South China Sea. The Flanker approaches to a distance of simply 20 ft from the U.S. aircraft.

February 15, 2023

A Chinese language Su-35 intercepts a U.S. asset within the South China Sea approaching to a distance of simply 70 ft from the U.S. aircraft. Nothing to see within the video or picture launched.

March 2, 2023

Within the East China Sea a JH-7 was concerned in an intercept of a U.S. aircraft coming to a distance of simply 50 ft from the U.S. aircraft. Video doesn’t present something particular.

Might 25, 2023

The incident happens within the South China Sea and includes a Chinese language Flanker (J-11 or J-16) and a Rivet Joint. The PLA plane flew in entrance of the nostril of the U.S. aircraft, forcing the U.S. plane to fly via the PLA aircraft’s wake turbulence. The video captures the second the interceptor dangerously lower throughout.

June 11, 2023

A J-11D intercepts U.S. asset within the East China Sea, and approached the goal to a distance of simply 25 ft.

July 12, 2023

A video exhibits a Chinese language J-16 deploying eight flares at a distance of 900 ft from the U.S. aircraft within the East China Sea.

August 10, 2023

A Chinese language plane carried out a coercive and dangerous maneuver by closing in at a excessive velocity to a distance of simply 50 ft beneath the wing of a U.S. plane.  The PLA operator then performed a barrel roll round and beneath the U.S. plane, inflicting the U.S. pilot to carry out defensive procedures to forestall a collision.

A picture of the Chinese language Flanker by-product throughout the intercept.

September 21, 2023

One other fairly regular video exhibits the intercept over the South China Sea the place a Chinese language J-11B fighter got here to a distance of fifty ft from the U.S. RC-135.

David Cenciotti is a journalist based mostly in Rome, Italy. He’s the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of many world’s most well-known and browse navy aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for main worldwide magazines, together with Air Forces Month-to-month, Fight Plane, and plenty of others, protecting aviation, protection, conflict, business, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown a number of fight planes with totally different air forces. He’s a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Pressure, a non-public pilot and a graduate in Laptop Engineering. He has written 5 books and contributed to many extra ones.


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