When the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier cruised through the South China Sea last week, one US Navy pilot encountered Chinese jamming technology interfering with his plane’s equipment, according to a report.
"The mere fact that some of your equipment is not working is already an indication that someone is trying to jam you," an EA-18G Growler pilot told GMA News on April 14, adding that "we have an answer to that." The Growler is a carrier-based, electronic warfare variant of the F/A-18 Super Hornet.
According to Omar Lamrani, a defense analyst at consulting company Stratfor, however, "this is not something that the US will look kindly on," Business Insider reported Wednesday. While the manned Growler plane is unlikely to be significantly impacted by jammers, Lamrani said, drones are more susceptible to electronic jamming threats.
On April 9, the Wall Street Journal reported that new military jammers had been deployed at Chinese outposts in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, citing US intelligence sources. The jammers are capable of interfering with enemy communications systems, the newspaper reported.
For its part, the PLA Navy initiated live-fire drills in the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday following Chinese President Xi Jinping's April 12 comment to Chinese sailors and naval aviation crews that the need to build a more powerful navy "has never been as urgent as it is today."