Military recorded 20 instances of lasers attacking US aircraft since September: report

Military recorded 20 instances of lasers attacking US aircraft since September: report
© Getty

The Pentagon has recorded 20 incidents since last September where lasers — believed to be Chinese — have been used to target U.S. aircraft in the Pacific, CNN reported on Friday

A military spokeswoman told CNN the most recent suspected laser attacks have happened in and around the East China Sea around busy shipping routes near disputed island chains. She said that the latest incident happened in the last two weeks.

None of the incidents have resulted in any injuries or medical complaints.


The attacks are similar to instances in April, where personnel at the Chinese military base in Djibouti used lasers to interfere with U.S. military aircraft.

Two pilots received minor injured in those attacks, which the Pentagon called “very serious incidents.”

Defense Department chief spokeswoman Dana White said at the time that the United States had formally demarched the Chinese government and requested that Beijing investigate the incidents.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Friday that the U.S. accusations “are totally groundless and purely fabricated.”

The waters where the most recent laser incidents happened are used by Chinese military ships and semi-autonomous “maritime militia,” meant to defend Chinese territory.

The attacks reportedly originated from different sources, including from land and from fishing ships. The military official would not say whether the lasers were military- or commercial-grade.

The attacks may stem from those acting on behalf of the Chinese government, as The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that military officials don't necessarily believe the attacks were officially initiated by Beijing.