A People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) J-11 fighter pilot performed an unsafe maneuver while intercepting a US Air Force RC-135 aircraft, the US Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) has said.
According to USINDOPACOM, the US RC-135 aircraft was lawfully conducting routine operations over the South China Sea in international airspace on December 21, 2022.
The PLAN pilot made an unsafe maneuver by flying in front of, and within 20 feet of the nose of, the RC-135, forcing the RC-135 to take evasive maneuvers to avoid a collision, USINDOPACOM said.
Video footage of the incident was shared by the command, where the Chinese plane can be seen approaching the American jet before the pilot begins evasive maneuvers.
“The U.S. Indo-Pacific Joint Force is dedicated to a free and open Indo-Pacific region and will continue to fly, sail and operate at sea and in international airspace with due regard for the safety of all vessels and aircraft under international law. We expect all countries in the Indo-Pacific region to use international airspace safely and in accordance with international law,” USINDOPACOM said.
Neither of the pilots of the two aircraft has been named and no incidents or injuries have been reported.