Thursday, January 16, 2014


Chinese inexperience a factor in warships' near-miss: U.S. admiral

 Admiral Samuel Locklear, the head of U.S. Pacific Command, told a Navy conference the Cowpens, a guided missile cruiser, was monitoring China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, as it conducted operations in international waters for the first time when the incident occurred.

The Cowpens was approached on December 5 by a Chinese warship that maneuvered in front of it at a distance of about 500 yards (meters), forcing the U.S. vessel to take evasive action to avoid a collision, defense officials said." The complete story is available on REUTERS .

Editor's Note: We carried the story as a blog post when the USS COWPENS was engaged by a Chinese escort vessel of the LIAONING. Maintaining a security perimeter around an operating aircraft carrier is a normal and well advised practice. having near collisions with the spectators you are trying keep at a safe distance isn't. U.S. Aircraft carriers are quite used to launching to an audience and we do maintain a security perimeter. Our guess is that China was not only trying to maintain a security perimeter but was trying to keep observer craft out of telephoto lens range. Not an unlawful goal but one which causes us to question just how proficient China has become at launching and recovering aircraft at sea. We think if they were skilled they would be welcoming physiography. Regardless everyone on the bridge of a U.S. naval vessel knows that it is best to comply with the Aircraft carrier's escorts outer perimeter demands. It is safe to assume that the carrier knows how wide a safety zone it needs. No observer ships want to risk their own safety or compromise the safety of the carrier. Confrontational escort maneuver is rarely needed. The Dragon's inexperience is indeed showing.


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