On August 22, 2014 the Pentagon gave a press briefing concerning the “buzzing” of a American spy plane operating in the South China sea. Informal definition of “buzzing” – “To fly low over”, or fly buy: For example: “The plane buzzed the control tower.”
In this particular case a Chinese fighter done a “barrel role” over top of the US P-8 spy plane.
Here is Rear Admiral Kirby’s exact comments:
“On the 19th of August, an armed Chinese fighter jet conducted a dangerous intercept of a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon aircraft, patrol aircraft, that was on a routine mission. The intercept took place about 135 miles east of Hainan Island, in international airspace.
We have registered our strong concerns to the Chinese about the unsafe and unprofessional intercept, which posed a risk to the safety and the well-being of the air crew, and was inconsistent with customary international law.
Also, it undermines — and we’ve made this clear, that it undermines efforts to continue developing military-to-military relations with the Chinese military. So that’s where we are now.
Q: How close did they get?
REAR ADM. KIRBY: It’s difficult to say with precision, but, within 30 feet of the P-8, very, very close, very dangerous.
Q: Is it correct as they went within 30 feet they moved around the U.S. aircraft over, under, around it at close range?
REAR ADM. KIRBY: We believe that they — they made several passes, three different occasions, crossed under the aircraft with one pass having only 50-100 feet separation. The Chinese jet also passed the nose of the P-8 at 90 degrees with its belly toward the P-8 Poseidon, we believe to make a point of showing its weapons load-out.
And then they flew directly under and alongside the P-8, bringing their wingtips, as I said, to within 20 feet. And then conducted a roll over the P-8, passing within 45 feet. So…
Q: Can you describe what you mean by a roll?
REAR ADM. KIRBY: I mean a roll. I’m not an aviator, so I’m not good talking with my hands. But basically, if here’s your P-8, you’ve got a jet fighter going over like this, so — pretty aggressive and very unprofessional.
As I’ve said, we’ve registered our concerns very strongly to official diplomatic channels with the — with the Chinese. This kind of behavior, not only is unprofessional, it’s unsafe, and it is certainly not keeping with the kind of military-to-military relationship — relations that we’d like to have with — with China. Did I answer your question?
Q: Do you have photos or video?
REAR ADM. KIRBY: I believe there’s imagery of it, Jim. I don’t know. We’ll have to — we’ll have to get back to you on that. I’m not sure.”
Source: Pentagon http://www.defense.gov/Transcripts/Transcript.aspx?TranscriptID=5493
The Chinese jet F-8T fighter is designed by Shenyang Aircraft Design and Research Institute and manufactured by SAC (Shenyang Aircraft Corporation). F-8T is capable of interception, combat and air-to-surface attack performing day and night as well as in complex climate conditions.
F-8T Fighter is equipped with advanced multi-functional X-band full-wave airborne pulse doplar radar, which can provide accurate targeting and tracking on multiple air targets. The air-to-air object (radar cross section=3 square meter) detection range is greater than 75km for upward view, and greater than 45km for downward view. The air-to-sea object (radar cross section=50 square meter) detection range is greater than 100km for radar sea operating mode-1; and greater than 80km for radar sea operating mode-2. The tracking range for single target is no less than 80% of the detection range. The radar’s search-while-tracking function is capable of simultaneous search and tracking of no less than 10 targets, working together with fire control system on multi-target attack. The radar can guide various types of missiles and other precisely-guided-weapons. The design of the radar meets the requirements for further battlefield environment.
The radar, compatible to friend-or-foe inquiry responder, is capable of friend-or-foe identification during air-to-air and air-to-surface search and tracking. It guides various types of missiles and other smart weapons, including heat-seeking dogfight air-to-air missile, medium range air-to-air interception missile, anti-ship missile and laser-guided bomb.
The design of “One head-up two head-down displays” is adopted in the in the cockpit configuration, namely an integrated display solution employing one head-up display and two multi-functional displays as the primary displays with mechanic bellows instrument as the backup, providing the pilot with various flight and combat information. It guarantees to accomplish the combat missions with twin-stick operation under head-up display condition. The cockpit design integrating human-aircraft-environment provides wider view and piloting comfort-ability.
F-8T Fighter is equipped with two WP13BII (FWP14A) Turbojet Engines to provide strong power with a thrust-weight ration of 0.94, ensuring the immediate operation and high maneuverability in air combat.
specifications of F-8T fighter:
Wing span: 9.3m
Empty Weight: 10371kg
Normal Takeoff Weight: 15200kg
Max Takeoff Weight: 19980kg
Max Speed: 2.2 mach
Normal Fuel Volume: 4200kg
Static Thrust: 2X68.67 KN
Rate of Climb: (H=1km, M=0.9) 220m/s
(H=5km, M=0.9) 160m/s
Overload at steady turn: (H=1km, M=0.9) 6.9g
(H=5km, M=0.9) 4.7g
Time of Level Acceleration: (H=1km, M=0.7-1.0) 21s
(H=5km, M=0.6-1.25) 55s
Max Range: 2150km
Combat Radius: 900km
Lift-off Speed: 330km/h
Takeoff Running Distance: 590m
Landing Speed: 275km/h
Landing Running Distance: 860m
Others: 2 WP13BII (FWP14A) Turbojet Engine
2 15 KVA AC Generators
Electronic Warfare System
Aircraft automatic-pilot system, providing pullup and stability augmentation
In-flight refueling system
This information is based on the latest “open source” intelligence assessments available.