Why Did Two Chinese SU-30 Fighters Fly Within 150 Feet of a Nuclear 'Sniffer' Plane in 2017?

Dario Leone
By Ken H / @chippyho - https://www.flickr.com/photos/fireballsg72/9047865061/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40885769

Dario Leone

Security, Asia

We want to know.

Why Did Two Chinese SU-30 Fighters Fly Within 150 Feet of a Nuclear 'Sniffer' Plane in 2017?

A U.S. official told CNN the two Chinese jets came within 150 feet of the U.S. plane, with one flying upside-down directly above it.

As reported by CNN a U.S. Air Force (USAF) WC-135 was intercepted by two Chinese Sukhoi Su-30 fighters on May 17, 2017 while flying in international airspace over the East China Sea.

According to the statement from Air Force Lt. Col. Hodge, the American flight crew described the encounter as “unprofessional.”

“While we are still investigating the incident, initial reports from the U.S. aircrew characterized the intercept as unprofessional. The issue is being addressed with China through appropriate diplomatic and military channels,” He explained.

(This first appeared in 2017.)

A U.S. official told CNN the two Chinese jets came within 150 feet of the U.S. plane, with one flying upside-down directly above it.

The WC-135 Constant Phoenix, whose mission is looking for distinctive elements a nuclear test of any type would emit into the air, has been regularly deployed on routine missions in Northeast Asia where it has been used to gather evidence of possible nuclear tests by North Korea.

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