US: Chinese military grade laser interfering with US aircraft in Djibouti

News

A report posted in United States Department of Defense website says that there were instances of lasers interfering with US military aircraft landing in Djibouti. Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said two Air Force crewmen were slightly injured in one incident.

“They are very serious incidents,” White said. “There have been two minor injuries. This activity poses a true threat to our airmen.”

She added that the US government formally demarched the Chinese government and requested for Chinese investigation. Pentagon said Demarche is a diplomatic term used when a nation protests or objects to policies or actions of another government.

The Pentagon said according to officials the beam is coming from a military grade laser, and that they are confident the Chinese are behind the incidents.

“Firing lasers at aircraft can blind aircrew members during critical moments of landing. In the incident where the minor injuries occurred, a C-130 was landing at the base when it was painted by a laser beam,” the Pentagon said.

“The aircraft managed to land safely, and the two aircrew members are recovering,” it added.

Sources: https://www.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/1511708/us-protests-chinese-interference-with-us-planes-in-djibouti/; https://www.defense.gov/News/Transcripts/Transcript-View/Article/1511983/department-of-defense-press-briefing-by-pentagon-chief-spokesperson-dana-w-whit/