Japan scrambles eight F-15s to intercept Chinese plane that intruded disputed islands airspace

Up to eight F-15 jets were scramble by the JASDF (Japan Air Self Defense Force) in the morning of Dec. 13 (02.00 GMT – 11.00 LT), after a Chinese Harbin Y-12 maritime surveillance aircraft skirted one of the disputed islands in the East China Sea.

Accompanied by an E-2 Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning platform, the Japanese “armada” responded to what is the first Chinese incursion into Japan’s airspace near Senkaku islands (that China calls Diaoyu), since Chinese warships have started moving in and out of waters around the islands.

According to China’s State Oceaninc Administration, the unarmed Y-12 (carrying registration B-3837) entered the airspace over the island to join a routing patrol with four surveillance vessels.

“During the patrol, the fleet declared the Chinese government’s stance regarding the Diaoyu Islands to Japanese ships that had illegally entered the waters and asked them to leave the waters,” according to the China Daily news.

Image credit: 163.com

Russian strategic bombers, reconnaissance planes and AWACS skirt Japanese islands (and get photographed) during long range patrol flightsquite often.

During a recent North Korean rocket test, Tokyo dispatched F-15Js to take care of Russian and Chinese spyplanes dispatched to gather data about Tokyo’s Aegis destroyers moved into position in anticipation of Pyongyang’s launch.

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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.