BLUFA Chinese warship’s use of a military-grade laser on an Australian surveillance plane was purposeful aggression; therefore—the ADF will need to be ready to take appropriate protective measures against a reoccurrence of this type of grey-zone tactic.
This article by Peter Layton in The Interpreter makes the following points:
- The laser rangefinder attack is the first Chinese grey-zone action close to Australia—about 170 kilometres from Marchinbar Island. NT.
- The Chinese ships have optical fire control systems incorporating laser range finders.
- Military-grade lasers are prohibited except in war.
- Strict safety protocols apply.
- Potentially serious eye damage.
- The Soviets used lasers during the cold war to blind or dazzle aircrews.
- Chinese Communist Party political officers on board both vessels would have ensured that any action taken by the ship would have been approved at a senior level.
- Chinese fishing vessels have used commercial-grade lasers previously.
- China will probably continue to use lasers until such usage becomes normal.
- Chinese grey zone actions are becoming more black and white.
Recent Runway Posts related to this topic:
- Australia’s China policy and national security | The Runway (airforce.gov.au)
- Australia must adopt unorthodox options to disrupt China’s grey-zone threat. | The Runway (airforce.gov.au)
References from the Web:
- FEB 2022 What was the Chinese laser attack about and why does it matter? – The Canberra Times
- FEB 2022 Chinese navy laser lights up Australian military aircraft, Canberra says-Reuters
- FEB 2022 China Just Bullied an Australian Patrol Aircraft with a ‘Military-Grade’ Laser-Popular Mechanics
- FEB 2022 Australia says Chinese warship 'illuminated' one of its planes with a laser-CNN