Laser attacks against U.S. forces have spread out of Africa into the Pacific. U.S. personnel operating in the East China Sea area have been the victim of blinding laser attacks similar to those that took place earlier this year in Djibouti. The attacks, conducted with nonlethal lasers were reportedly carried out by Chinese nationals.
Earlier this year the Pentagon issued a NOTAM, or “Notice to Airmen” warning U.S. pilots of “unauthorized laser activity” resulting in injury to an unspecified number of U.S. personnel in the skies over Djibouti. The lasers originated on or very near China’s first overseas military base, just 8.3 miles from the American base, and according to U.S. officials, Chinese nationals were involved. The U.S. issued a formal complaint to China, which denied the accusations.
Now the U.S. is reporting similar attacks in the East China Sea, where more than 20 incidents have reportedly taken place. According to Aviation Week & Space Technology, as the attacks are increasing they are also involving more laser frequency bands.
China has been accused of developing and marketing anti-eye lasers, weapons whose use in wartime would constitute a violation of international law. These weapons include the BBQ-905 Laser Dazzler Weapon, the WJG-2002 Laser Gun, the PY132A Blinding Laser Weapon, and the PY131A Blinding Laser Weapon.
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