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Australia, risked duel between reconnaissance and Chinese fighter

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(ANSA) – ROME, JUN 06 – Risky confrontation over the South China Sea between an Australian reconnaissance plane and a Chinese Shenyang J-16 attack plane, which from a very close distance released a cloud of aluminum strips in its wake – a defensive electronic countermeasure used to form false targets and confuse anti-aircraft guided missiles – which have been dangerously absorbed by the reactors of Canberra’s Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime radar aircraft. This is what the Australian government affirms, which together with other Western allies denounces the growing, aggressive expansion policy of Beijing in the region. The episode, according to Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles, took place last month.

The defensive maneuver used by the Chinese fighter – known in jargon as “chaffing” – is used to confuse the anti-aircraft but is sometimes used to get rid of an enemy aircraft that is tailing.

“The J-16 fighter flanked the P-8 very closely,” Marles said in a TV interview, picked up by various international media. “The J-16 then accelerated, cut off the road and stepped in front of the scout’s nose at very close range. At that moment, it released a cloud of ‘chaff’, which contains small fragments of aluminum, part of which are have been sucked into the reactors of the twin-engine P-8. It is evident that this is very dangerous, “said Marles. Aluminum (or zinc) strips can damage the blades and even block the engine. According to a former Australian Air Force officer, Peter Layton, interviewed by CNN, the accident certainly forced the reconnaissance aircraft – who can fly with even one reactor in operation – to return to base.

Australia’s new prime minister, Anthony Albanese, said his government has raised the issue with Beijing: “What happened is dangerous and we have made our appropriate grievances to the Chinese government, expressing our concerns,” the Labor premier said. according to which the P-8 reconnaissance aircraft flew “in compliance with international law, exercising the right to free navigation and overflight” over international waters. (HANDLE).

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Source: Ansa

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