China May Attack US Ships in South China Sea with Lasers, Electro-Magnetic Weapons

  • Our Bureau
  • 08:48 AM, March 18, 2020
  • 6929
China May Attack US Ships in South China Sea with Lasers, Electro-Magnetic Weapons
Image for representation only.

Irked by US Ships conducting patrols in the South China Sea, China could attack them with electro-magnetic weapons including lasers to temporarily incapacitate their weapons and control systems without visible conflict.

While the Chinese government or Navy has not commented on deploying electro-magnetic weapons or lasers, state-owned Global Times said quoting Song Zhongping, a frequent commentator on Chinese military affairs as saying, “to counter US' repeated trespasses into Chinese territorial waters, the Chinese military has the option of using new approaches, including the deployment of electromagnetic weapons.”

Ships from the Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier strike group and America amphibious assault ship expeditionary strike group sailed together in the South China Sea on Sunday for expeditionary strike force drills, the US Pacific Fleet said on its Twitter account on Monday.

This is the third time in just a week US warships are known to have trespassed into the South China Sea: US guided missile destroyer McCampbell on March 10 trespassed into China's territorial waters in the Xisha Islands, and amphibious assault ship America and littoral combat ship Gabrielle Giffords sailed in operations in the South China Sea on Friday, Global Times said.

China May Attack US Ships in South China Sea with Lasers, Electro-Magnetic Weapons
Lockheed Martin's HELIOS laser weapons system

Earlier on 17 February, a Chinese Navy destroyer had fired a laser at a US Navy’s P-8A Poseidon aircraft momentarily blinding the pilot. The US Pacific Fleet described the attack as “unsafe and unprofessional.” In a statement it said, “The laser, not visible to the naked eye, was captured by a sensor on board the P-8A. Weapons –grade lasers could potentially cause serious harm to air crew and mariners.”

The US Navy’s official Instagram account had issued a veiled warning stating “You don’t want to play Laser Tag with us,” referring to a shooting game where infrared beams are used to illuminate targets. China subsequently denied its Navy had fired the laser at the P-8A.

The US Navy is testing a variety of directed energy weapons including weapons-grade lasers but it is not known if any have been deployed abroad ships patrolling in the South China Sea.

While China claims the entire South China Sea as its territory, the US rubbishes this claim and has started what it calls ‘Freedom of Navigation patrols.’

 

 

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