Canada says its warplane intercepted by Chinese aircraft "numerous" times in recent weeks

    WORLD  30 November 2022 - 11:46

    Canadian National Defence Department Spokesperson Jessica Lamirande has said that Chinese military jets conducted several intercepts of a Royal Canadian Air Force patrol plane as it flew surveillance sorties from Japan as part of an international effort to enforce sanctions against North Korea.

    She said the Canadian CP-140 Aurora aircraft was intercepted "on numerous occasions" by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) during Operation Neon, the Canadian Armed Forces' ongoing sanctions-monitoring mission in the western Pacific region, CTV News reports.

    The Aurora long-range patrol plane was deployed to Okinawa, Japan, in early October and returned home to British Columbia last week, Lamirande noted.

    While Canada does not routinely disclose such airborne intercepts, the matter was raised earlier this month by visiting United States Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin.

    "We've seen a sharp increase in the number of dangerous PLA intercepts of U.S. and allied forces – including Canadian aircraft – that were operating lawfully in international airspace over the South and East China Seas," Austin told the Halifax International Security Forum on November 19.

    The Department of National Defence said it wouldn’t discuss the dates of the recent intercepts, their frequency or the type of Chinese aircraft involved, citing national security concerns.

    Last year, an Aurora aircraft flew 21 sorties while deployed to Okinawa for Operation Neon between October 19 and November 30, according to the Canadian Armed Forces.
    The Canadian military embarked on Operation Neon in 2018 and last year extended the commitment until the end of April 2023.

    Caliber.Az

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