Australian pilots targeted by lasers in the South China Sea - What Studies | Knowledge

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Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Australian pilots targeted by lasers in the South China Sea


Sydney | Australian naval pilots have been targeted by laser beams flying over the hotly disputed South China Sea, suspicion of Chinese ships, the military said on Wednesday. 

China claims almost all of this resource-rich region. It asserts its claims with more and more firmness over the years against other riparian countries, but also in Canberra and Washington, traditionally the dominant air and naval power of the Asia-Pacific.

The Australian Defense Force (ADF) said it has "observed an increase in the use of portable laser devices by some ships".

Helicopter pilots from the HMAS Canberra building were targeted by lasers as part of Exercise Indo-Pacific Endeavor 2019, a regional operation of the Australian army, she said.

"Regarding the incident, the pilots of the Royal Australian Navy were examined by precaution by doctors who concluded that they did not present any injuries," says the ADF.


According to a witness, the academic Euan Graham invited with others aboard the HMAS Canberra as he was traveling between Vietnam and Singapore, the ship was closely monitored by a Chinese warship. "Helicopter pilots have been targeted by lasers from fishing boats," he also wrote on his blog.

China, arguing of an older presence in the zone, disputes with other countries (Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei) islands and islets, each nation controlling several. Beijing has reinforced reefs that it administers to build facilities, including military.

He is also accused of operating a maritime militia that includes fishing boats to conduct reconnaissance and intelligence missions in the area. These operations allow China to challenge rival powers while limiting the risk of military conflict by offering the possibility of plausible denials.

Two years ago, Beijing denied having lightly wounded US pilots flying around the US base in Djibouti.

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