Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Incident with patrol aircraft following hypothetical script

HQ JOC storyboard of PLA-N ships, in the Arafura Sea.

In 2016 I presented a hypothetical for IT Ethics at ANU. This was a fictional incident involving a maritime surveillance aircraft. The question for the students was what, as an IT professional, what military response they could participate in. This scenario became real last week when an Australian P-8A Poseidon aircraft reported being targeted by a laser from a Chinese warship, just north of Australia. Fortunately the real situation did not escalate, unlike the hypothetical:

The real report:

"On 17 February 2022, an Australian Maritime Patrol Aircraft P-8A Poseidon detected a laser illuminating the aircraft while it was conducting a routine surveillance flight over Australia’s northern approaches.

The laser was detected as emanating from a People’s Liberation Army – Navy (PLA-N) vessel. Illumination of the aircraft by the Chinese vessel is a serious safety incident. ... sonobuoys were used after the incident ... ahead of the PLA-N vessel. ..." 

From: Chinese ship lasing of P-8A Poseidon on 17 February 2022, Australian Department of Defence, 22 February 2022.

My fictional report:

"At 02:20 Zulu, 1 April 2017, one of our maritime surveillance aircraft was reported missing. The aircraft was conducting a freedom of navigation flyover ... signals from a fire control radar ... aircraft's flares and electronic countermeasures were activated ... "

From: Briefing by Cyberspace Operations Wing at Headquarters Joint Operations Command (COW/HQJOC), 12:30 Zulu 1 April 2017 (Notional For Exercise Only)

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