In a recent incident that has raised safety concerns, a Chinese fighter pilot came perilously close to crashing into an American B-52 bomber over the South China Sea during a nighttime intercept, as reported by the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.
The Chinese pilot’s actions were criticized for “poor airmanship” as he maneuvered his J-11 jet within a mere 10 feet of the B-52 bomber, displaying uncontrolled excessive speed, and jeopardizing both aircraft, according to U.S. officials.
Video footage, which the U.S. released on Thursday via social media, vividly illustrates the alarming proximity of the Chinese jet to the American aircraft.
A news release from Indo-Pacific Command pointed out that the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) nighttime intercept was conducted in a manner inconsistent with international air safety regulations and norms, and it expressed concern that the Chinese pilot might not have been aware of how close he came to causing a collision.
NEW: @INDOPACOM releases video of “unsafe and unprofessional” maneuver made by Chinese J-11 fighter jet near a US B-52 bomber that occufred on Tuesday over the South China Sea. The Chinese jet got within just 10 feet of the American bomber, per PACOM. pic.twitter.com/wSI6tjUolH
— Matt Seyler (@MattSeyler) October 26, 2023
This incident is just one among more than 180 reported cases of “unsafe, unprofessional, and other behaviors” that have occurred since the fall of 2021, all of which have sought to disrupt the safe operations of the United States and other nations, according to Indo-Pacific Command.
Notably, last week, the Pentagon disclosed videos and descriptions of 15 recent instances of what it described as “coercive and risky operational behavior” by China’s People’s Liberation Army against U.S. aircraft. However, it’s worth noting that none of these incidents involved a Chinese fighter pilot harassing a U.S. bomber.
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A U.S. official clarified that none of the 15 cases of “risky and coercive” behavior by PRC pilots, as released by the Pacific Command (PACOM) last week, featured U.S. bombers.