Australian surveillance plane scrambled to monitor Chinese naval activity
Royal Australian Air Force Orion aircraft launched to monitor Chinese military exercise that took Beijing’s warships closer to Australia than ever before.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, an unannounced military exercise held in the waters to the north of the Red Continent, brought three Chinese vessels so close to the coastline, to force the Royal Australian Air Force to scramble an AP-3C from RAAF Base Edinburgh, near Adelaide, to observe the warships activities.
The Chinese vessels, two destroyers and a landing ship, came through the Sunda Strait, skirted the southern part of Java, sailed close to Christmas Island before turning northbound through the Lombok Strait near Bali.
Obviously, since it remained in international waters, the Chinese flotilla did nothing really aggressive, even if the trip near Australia proves once again China wants to send the rest the world the message that People’s Liberation Army Navy can operate in both the Indican Ocean and the Pacific and counter the U.S. and Indian maritime powers in the Asia-Pacific region.
The U.S. has recently started deploying strategic bombers to Darwin, in the North of Australia: a B-52 deployed to Guam for a rotational bomber presence in the Pacific has landed there at the end of January to take part in a short term bilateral training with the RAAF.
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