Patrol Planes in the South China Sea

For years, there have been tensions between China and its neighbors in the South China Sea, particularly in the region of the Sprately Islands. There have also been tensions between the US and China over operations in the same region, among others.  The US recognizes no Chinese sovreignity over the disputed areas, and maintains its rights to freedom of navigation in the area. And to do so, they regularly exercise those rights, often via Maritime Patrol Aircraft such as the P-8A Poseidon. Recently, to show how this plays out, a US Navy P-8A brought along a CNN crew to show just what is involved.


China is unlikely to be so rash as to actually attack an American military aircraft. On the other hand, you don’t have to go too terribly far back into the Cold War to find incidents where they did just that, costing American lives.


Via Alert 5

6 thoughts on “Patrol Planes in the South China Sea”

  1. I am wondering if there is a carrier nearby to assist them should the Chinese send up a fighter

  2. They have had no escorts in the past. No reason to think that they will have escorts in the future.
    They have been shot /forced down in the past, with no?? retaliation from us. No reason to think that they will not be shot down in the future.
    The least we can do if we are going to continue to send recon aircraft into harms way is to arm them.
    There were P-3s armed with Sidewinder missiles in the past, strong rumor that one of them shot down a MiG-17.

  3. If memory serves, a P-3 was in a collision with an idiot Chinese pilot and was forced down. It was the first “crisis” of Dubya’s administration.

    Sigh. Those were the days.

  4. It will be interesting to see how much erosion takes place during a typhoon. Perhaps Congressman Hank Johnson had the right idea but the wrong island(s).

    Plus, I don’t think all that construction is going to be good for the coral reefs these piles of sand are based on. Like the Good Book says-” a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash”

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