Australian helicopter takes evasive action to protect itself from Chinese fighter jet

A Royal Australian Navy (RAN) MH-60 Seahawk helicopter had to perform evasive maneuvers to protect itself from a Chinese fighter aircraft performing dangerous maneuvers. According to Australian authorities, the incident occurred last Saturday (04) during a UN mission in the Yellow Sea near South Korea in international waters.

Destroyer HMAS Hobart deployed with Seahawk helicopter The aircraft was flying a routine sortie as part of Operation Argos to enforce UN sanctions on North Korea. According to Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles, the helicopter was intercepted by a Chinese People's Army Air Force J-10 fighter aircraft.

During the interception, the jet fired flares about 300 meters in front of and 60 meters above the Australian helicopter, forcing the pilot to take evasive action to avoid being hit by the decoys. Flares are countermeasures used by various aircraft to protect against heat-producing missiles. When they come in contact with air, they burn at high temperatures.

Despite the tense moment, no one was injured and the aircraft completed the mission, returning safely to the troop ship.

Royal Australian Navy MH-60 Seahawk helicopter.
Royal Australian Navy MH-60 Seahawk helicopter. Photo: RAN/Disclosure.

Marles stressed the seriousness of the incident, calling it unacceptable and demanding an explanation from the Chinese government. He also strengthened hopes for professional and safe interactions between the Chinese and Australian militaries.

“The consequences of being caught in the fire would have been significant,” The minister said. “It is important to highlight that the helicopter was not affected and the entire crew is safe. This is a very serious incident. This was not safe and is completely unacceptable.”

The incident involving the Australian crew is another in a long list of dangerous maneuvers made by Chinese fighter aircraft during interceptions. The governments of the United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and Australia have already publicly complained about the conduct of Chinese aviators, endangering the lives of military personnel on missions coordinated with the United Nations. Such as over international waters. The case of the MH-60 Seahawk from Australia.

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In 2001, a Chinese J-8 fighter jet collided with a United States Navy EP-3 aircraft, known as the Hainan incident. The J-8 and its pilot were never found, while the EP-3 had to make an emergency landing on Hainan Island. Its 24 crew members were arrested and interrogated by Chinese military personnel. Later the Americans were released and returned to their country. The aircraft was later returned but was completely destroyed.

with information from ABC News

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