The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) has intercepted a Y-9DZ intelligence-gathering aircraft from China that was detected flying over the Pacific Ocean on the morning of June 8, 2023.
This marks the first confirmed operational sighting of this particular type of Chinese aircraft. According to a map released by the JASDF, the observation plane was spotted 225 kilometers (140 miles) south of the Yaeyama Islands.
After detecting the aircraft, the JASDF scrambled fighters to conduct visual identification and escort it into international airspace.
The Y-9DZ is a sophisticated intelligence-gathering aircraft developed by China. It is an upgraded variant of the Y-9 transport aircraft, specifically designed for surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
Equipped with advanced sensors and communication systems, the Y-9DZ is capable of conducting a wide range of observation activities, including electronic surveillance, signal intelligence, and imagery intelligence.