Australian Defense Force accuses Chinese Navy of lasing aircraft in ‘serious safety incident’

The Australian Defense Force (ADF) has issued a statement saying a Chinese naval vessel pointed a laser at an Australian aircraft in what it says is a “serious safety incident”.

The ADF said an Australian P-8A Poseidon aircraft detected that it was being illuminated by a laser coming from a People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLA-N) ship to the north of Australia on February 17.

“Acts like this have the potential to endanger lives,” the ADF statement read.

Chinese Luyang-class guided-missile destroyer (left) and Yuzhao-class amphibious transport dock vessel
A Chinese Luyang-class guided-missile destroyer (left) and Yuzhao-class amphibious transport dock vessel. (Australian Defense Force)

“We strongly condemn unprofessional and unsafe military conduct.

“These actions could have endangered the safety and lives of the ADF personnel.

“Such actions are not in keeping with the standards we expect of professional militaries.”

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The ADF said the Chinese ship was in the Arafura Sea with one other PLA-N vessel, and that both have now arrived in the Coral Sea after moving through the Torres Strait.

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