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Inside a US Spy Plane Monitoring China

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The video is unclassified and released footage of the Poseidon Crew Operations – sailors assigned to the Patrol Squadron (VP) 45 are conducting flight operations on board a P-8A Poseidon over the South China Sea. VP-45 is on deployment supporting the US 7th Fleet operations in the Pacific Ocean.

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Chinese soldiers from the navy are heard making contact with the US plane as it flies and looks over a non-official and non-listed artificial island created by the Chinese government in the South China Sea. In the exchange, the Chinese soldiers are warning the Poseidon crew that they are approaching China’s military zone and to “leave immediately” and “go away quickly” to avoid conflict. The Poseidon crew identify themselves and ask the Chinese to do the same, and point out that they are conducting military activity outside the Chinese national airspace, operating with due regard as required under international law. The Chinese on the other end don’t identify themselves, repeatedly telling the plane to leave instead.

The island is obviously artificial, and the footage clearly shows many navy vessels surrounding the island. These types of islands are usually built on small reefs using sand or rocks as an expansion of other islands. In general, artificial islands are created using reclaimed land, but some recent ones have taken to constructing ones that resemble oil rigs. Another type of artificial island is made by isolating an area using construction of canals.

About The Boeing P-8 Poseidon

The Boeing P-8 Poseidon in the video, formerly called the Multimission Maritime Aircraft or MMA, is a military aircraft currently being developed by Boeing Integrated Defense Systems from Boeing 737-800 to the United States Navy. It is designed to complete antisubmarine missions, intercept vessels and provide military intelligence. The aircraft can load torpedoes, anti-ship missiles AGM-84 Harpoon and make use of other weapons. It can also launch and monitor sonobuoys and can operate in cooperation with the UAV Broad Area Maritime Surveillance.

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