- China claims sovereignty over Japanese controlled islands
- U.S. Navy sends first of six advanced anti-ship aircraft to Japan
- Fears mount tensions could spark unplanned military incident
China last month established an air defense zone covering islands controlled by Japan and claimed by Beijing – sparking fears that it could lead to an unplanned military incident.
Now the U.S. Navy is sending P-8 Poseidon patrol aircraft which will strengthen America’s ability to hunt submarines and other vessels in seas close to China.
The jet, built by Boeing Co based on its 737 passenger plane, has been built to replace the aging propeller-powered Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion patrol aircraft, which has been in service for 50 years.
Packed with the latest radar equipment and armed with torpedoes and anti-ship missiles, the P-8 is able to fly further and stay out on mission longer than the P-3.
Beijing has declared that all aircraft crossing through airspace must file flight plans and identify themselves or face unspecified ‘defensive emergency measures’. But the US, Japan and South Korea have all defied the ruling over the past few days.
In an intensification of the spat, China launched fighter jets into the area at the same time as foreign military flights.
Full article: U.S. deploys submarine-hunting jets to disputed air defence zone over East China Sea as tensions in volatile region mount (Daily Mail)