The USS naval transporter USS Theodore Roosevelt has reached the Philippines and reports a disturbing picture of growing tensions with China from pilots aboard the ship.
US officials told the Wall Street Journal in early April that intelligence officials found that China had misplaced radar and communication malfunctioning facilities in the South China Sea.
In addition to the construction and militarization of islands in the South China Sea, Beijing is accused of infiltrating the territorial waters of the Philippines, which has recently been exacerbated by the reported appearance of Chinese military aircraft at a reef near the island nation.
Part of Roosevelt's mission in the Philippines was to demonstrate that if China crossed the border, the US, the Philippines' ally, would stand back. A pilot flying an EA-18G Growler, the electronic attack version of the F-18 carrier jets on the US Navy, seems to confirm the news that China has jammers on islands in the area.
China jams US Navy carrier aircraft?
"The mere fact that some of your equipment is not Work is already an indication that someone is trying to disturb you we have an answer to that, "said pilot GMA News Online.
"That's not something the US is friendly with or thinks they can overlook." Omar Lamrani, a military analyst at geopolitical consulting firm Stratfor, told Business Insider when he was asked about a potential incident. "The US will probably try to counter that somehow."
While Lamrani said that disrupting "can be dangerous" when targeting navigation or communication systems, the US Navy's electronic attack aircraft is more than likely to handle the challenge.
"The Growler is a very capable machine," said Lamrani. "I doubt that the Chinese really can affect this plane so much, this type of system will try to annoy and annoy them, but I do not think it will create a security problem."
But while manned aircraft can usually fight against signal interference, and pilots in a cockpit can always use their own judgment when communications or navigation are lost. The jamming could pose a serious threat to US Navy drones, as no one is in the cockpit, according to Lamrani.
If China disturbs US Navy aircraft flying at sea in international airspace, this is yet another sign that Beijing may violate international laws and regulations to defend its conquest in the South China Sea.
According to Lamrani, the provocative activity "can lead to an escalation pattern that could be negative for both sides".