An armed Chinese fighter jet conducted what Pentagon officials called an aggressive midair intercept of a U.S. Navy submarine-hunting aircraft during a routine patrol above international waters.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said the incident occurred August 19, 2014 about 135 miles east of Hainan island in the South China Sea and involved a Navy P-8 Poseidon plane.
He said the Chinese fighter made three passes dangerously near the U.S. plane. The jet also zoomed directly in front of the Navy plane at a 90-degree angle to reveal its belly, which was packed with weaponry, he said.
At one point, Kirby said, the Chinese warplane flew alongside the Navy aircraft, putting their wingtips as close as 30 feet apart. The encounter ended with the Chinese pilot doing a barrel roll over the top of the U.S. plane.