Japan İntercepts Chinese UAV with F-15J

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Japan İntercepts Chinese UAV with F-15J
On January 1, the Japanese Ministry of Defence revealed for the first time that it detected a Chinese WZ-7 drone very active in the airspace of the East China Sea from morning to noon. This also marks the first record of intercepting an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle with a piloted aerial system. The presence of UAVs may have some relation to the Chinese aircraft carrier "Liaoning" and its escort vessels in the waters involved.

Japan İntercepts Chinese UAV with F-15J

The Japanese Ministry of Self-Defence claims it detected a Chinese high-altitude long-endurance drone Guizhou WZ-7 Soaring Drone over the Miyako Strait. The ministry’s statement in Japanese states that the Chinese UAV flew over the East China Sea and passed through the islands of Okinawa and Miyakojima on Sunday, January 1.

Japan İntercepts Chinese UAV with F-15J

A day after the first claim, Japan intercepted another UAV in the East China Sea along a similar path in the strait. In response, Japan deployed F-15j aircraft based at Naha Air Base in Okinawa to intercept the Chinese UAV.

Japan İntercepts Chinese UAV with F-15J

Japanese statement says, “Trends of Chinese military aircraft. From the morning to the afternoon of Monday, January 2, 2023, one Chinese military reconnaissance drone (WZ-7) flew in from the East China Sea and flew between the main island of Okinawa and Miyakojima. After passing over the Pacific Ocean, it flew over the Pacific Ocean to the south of the Sakishima Islands, then turned around, passed again between the main island of Okinawa and Miyako Island, and reached the East China Sea. In response, the fighters of the Southwestern Air Force of the Air Self-Defence Force were scrambled to respond.”

Japan İntercepts Chinese UAV with F-15J

In response to both instances, the Japanese Air Self-Defence Force’s Southwestern Air Command Support Flight was scrambled to the drone.

Meanwhile, Japan revealed it had deployed fighter planes and warships over the past two weeks in response to Chinese manoeuvres and flight operations near the islands of Okinawa and Miyakojima.

The Chinese naval group included missile destroyers, five warships, and a Liaoning aircraft carrier, Reuters reported, citing the Japanese defence ministry.

The Chinese carrier group reportedly conducted more than 300 take-offs and landings using fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.

The ministry stated that there were no incursions into Japanese territory.

Japan İntercepts Chinese UAV with F-15J

The capabilities of China's WZ-7 drone, also known as the "Soaring Dragon," are unknown. It might be similar to the United States High-Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) drone "RQ-4 Global Hawk."

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