The lives of Australian Defence Force personnel could have been in danger after an aircraft detected a laser coming from a Chinese ship, the Australian Defence Department says.
On Thursday February 17, the P-8A Poseidon detected a laser illuminating the aircraft while in flight over Australia’s northern approaches, Defence says.
The laser was detected coming from a People’s Liberation Army Navy vessel, a statement on Saturday said.
“Illumination of the aircraft by the Chinese vessel is a serious safety incident,” it says.
“We strongly condemn unprofessional and unsafe military conduct.
“These actions could have endangered the safety and lives of the ADF personnel.”
The vessel was in the company of another Chinese ship and sailing east through the Arafura Sea at the time of the incident.
Both ships have since passed through the Torres Strait and are in the Coral Sea.