Tag Archives: East China Sea

China’s Su-27 Flankers intercept Japanese aircraft for the first time

Two Japanese aircraft flying over the East China Sea have been intercepted by People’s Liberation Army Air Force Su-27 Flanker jets for the first time.

According to the Japanese Ministry of Defense, a Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force OP-3C and Japan Air Self-Defense Force YS-11EB were intercepted over the East China Sea by two PLAAF Su-27 Flankers.

Nothing really special, other than the first image of an armed Chinese Su-27 from an intercepted Japanese military aircraft.

Both close encounters occurred on May 24, at 11.00 and 12.00 AM LT.

Image credit: Japan’s MoD

 

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Chinese and Japanese jets fly into China’s controversial Air Defense Identification Zone

Tension in growing in the East China Sea where China established an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).

First, the ADIZ was “violated” by two U.S. B-52 strategic bombers that did not to comply with any of the rules set by Beijing for foreign aircraft entering the new airspace: they simply crossed the airspace, flying in international airspace without prior notification of their arrival.

Japanese military aircraft, including a P-3C maritime surveillance plane, that is supporting Japanese warships in the area, have carried out routine surveillance missions over the Senkaku islands (known as Diaoyu in China).

Some Japan Air Self Defense Force fighter jets carried out the first interceptions of China’s AEW aircraft patrolling the area few hours after the controversial ADIZ was established but more close encounters are to be expected: on Nov. 28, talking to state news agency Xinhua, People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) spokesman Shen Jinke said more fighter jets and an early warning aircraft were launched into the newly declared air defence zone.

The iarcraft conducted normal air patrols: “a defensive measure and in line with international common practices.”

So, what’s next?

Anything may happen, even if most probably Chinese jets will remain far away from Japanese or South Korean ones, that will continue to operate undistubed.

And, sooner or later, U.S. B-2s will be sent to fly an extended deterrence mission through the Chinese ADIZ.

Image credit: PLAAF

 

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Two U.S. B-52 strategic bombers enter China’s new Air Defense Identification Zone over disputed islands

A flight of two U.S. B-52 bombers have reportedly entered the new Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over East China Sea on Nov. 25 without informing Beijing, according to a U.S. official who spoke to the Wall Street Journal.

The two aircraft departed from Guam airbase and flew close to the disputed islands without complying with any of the rules set by Beijing for the new ADIZ over Diaoyu Islands (known as Senkaku islands in Japan).

The question is: did China’s air defense detect them? Did they try to intercept the two B-52s?

The two bombers, unarmed and not escorted by any fighter plane, were involved in a previous planned exercise dubbed “Coral Lightening”.

Even if the U.S. has already flown “extended deterrence” missions in the Asia-Pacific region in the past, this is an unprecedented direct challenge to China and its threats to Washington’s local allies.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

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Japan interceptors scrambled 185 times against Chinese and Russian aircraft in last 3 months

The Japan Air Self-Defense Force is always quite busy intercepting planes skirting the Japanese airspace.

In the third quarter of year (in the period between July and September 2013), JASDF planes were scrambled 80 times in response to activity of Chinese warplanes (and drones) close to Tokyo’s airspace.

The number of alert scrambles is the third highest since 2005 (when the MoD started releasing such figures).

On Sept. 8, two H-6G maritime strike aircraft were intercepted by the Japan Air Self Defense Force F-15 scrambled from Naha while flying in international airspace between the Miyako and Okinawa islands. On Sept. 9 a Chinese BZK-005 UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) was intercepted near the contested Senkaku islands.

The dispute about the islands in the East China Sea has surely played a role in the increase of People’s Liberation Army Air Force and Navy activity in the area.

However, not only Chinese fighters caused some concern to the JASDF: from July to September, the number of QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) departures in response to Russian planes, reached a peak of 105, up form only 31 of the previous quarter (April – June).

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

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Japan Air Force fighters scrambled against North Korea aircraft for first time in four years

According to Japan’s Defense Ministry, Japan Air Self-Defense Force fighter jets were scrambled nine times against North Korean military aircraft between April and June, Japan Times reported on Jul.10.

These alert launches of Japanese fighter jets against North Korean planes were the first since 2009.

JASDF joins RF-A 11-2

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

Kim Jong Un planes flew over the Sea of Japan (which South Korea calls the East Sea), but did never violate the Japanese airspace, according to the ministry, that went on to say that the North Koreans were probably gathering information (using which kind of planes?) after the Japanese Navy deployed its AEGIS destroyer in the area against the missil launch threaths by Pyongyang.

Interestingly, between April and June, much more scrambles were launced by the JASDF against Chinese aircraft, 69, and 31 times the cause of the alert take off were Russian aircraft. From January to March, China’s Air Force aircraft caused 146 launches by the Quick Reaction Alert cells, amid tensions caused by the Senkaku Islands dispute in the East China Sea.

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