America deployed its shiny new P8-A Poseidon spy/submarine killer plane over the disputed South China Sea the other day to get a bird’s eye view on China’s “illegal” activities in those waters.
The South China Sea which is believed to be rich in oil and gas and is also a major shipping route has been the subject of a long running dispute between China, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Each wants to claim these waters and apparently China felt like because it was called the “South China See” they could just move in and take it all over, you know, being that they have the more powerful military of the three.
What is China doing?
When China flexed its muscles and took over the waters, it started building artificial islands complete with airstrips and helipads which America believes will be used for military activities.
So why is this a problem?
Well the South China See is considered International waters by everyone else except China and so their little island building project is seen as illegal.
What can America do about it?
America can’t really do anything about it at this point except spy on the project to see what China is up to. And so that is where the P8-A Poseidon spy plane comes in.
Tell me more about the Poseidon
It is considered America’s most advanced spy plane and can do more than just spying. It also hunts and kills submarines ships, and anything else on or under water that America sees as a threat. It also shuts down electronic communications for miles. It is also armed with torpedoes, depth charges, SLAM-ER missiles, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and other weapons. It is also able to drop and monitor sonobuoys.
What happened when America flew over China’s new illegal fake islands?
The Chinese military warned the crew of the Poseidon to leave their airspace or face conflict but the jet continued the flyover because only China doesn’t recognize the airspace as International airspace, which it is. So by law, America really wasn’t invading Chinese air space.
Where else has America deployed the P8-A Poseidon?
The Poseidon is equipped with top of the line communications equipment and serves as a back up for the massive E4-B which is America’s flying command hq. It is believed that the Poseidon is always sent to scout targets for airstrikes and feeds those coordinates back to fighter jets. It was used for the conflict in Syria, Libya and is still being used over Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan
Is there only one of these planes?
Come on, this is America. We never just have one of anything, especially when it comes to our military. There is a fleet of about 37 P8-A Poseidons always ready to go whenever the President gives the order.