China: US Spy Planes Keep Setting Transponders to Appear as Civilian Planes of Third Countries

It's one thing to turn your transponder off — but to misrepresent yourself as foreign civilians?

According to a Beijing-based think tank that monitors flights in the region, a US Air Force plane disguised itself as a Philippine aircraft while flying over the Yellow Sea on Tuesday. The South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative (SCSPI) observed the flight.

Another flight monitoring agency, Aircraft Spots, made a similar observation and noted that the plane used a different hex code when it was over the Yellow Sea between China’s coast and the Korean Peninsula. Hex codes are international numbers used to identify aircraft. The SCSPI said the US Air Force plane used a hex code assigned to a Philippine aircraft while over the South China Sea and switched back to its original when the mission was over.

Last week, the SCSPI said it observed US spy planes disguised as Malaysian civilian aircraft flying near China’s Hainan Island, and near the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. Beijing accused the US of disguising military planes as civilian aircraft over 100 times this year.

The think tank warned that this practice increases the danger to actual civilian aircraft in the region, risking misidentification. In 1983, the Soviet Union shot down a Korean passenger flight after mistaking it as a US spy plane, killing 269 people on board.

Souring US-China relations have led to an increase in US military activity in the region, with the South China Sea turning into a major flashpoint.

US spy planes flying near China’s coast have led to deadly accidents in the past. In 2001, a US reconnaissance plane collided with a Chinese military aircraft 59 nautical miles off the coast of Hainan Island. The collision immediately killed the Chinese pilot and forced the US pilot to land on Hainan.


  1. Pablo says

    The Chinese went to war against the USA in Korea in 1950. If provoked enough, China WILL attack the US War Machine. This might happen over Taiwan.

  2. Bob says

    How nasty of them. The poor chows. Lets call a Security Council conference over this.

  3. Mary E says

    The US is great at this sort of thing…using transponders of other countries’ commercial airlines in place of their own..(how low can you go?).- they use it in digital ways too….like changing their url’s to those of a ‘perceived’ enemy like Russia or China …to make it look like the enemy is doing some dirty work on the internet rather than a US agency like the CIA…Washington is full of liars and foilers…and are really the lowest of the low when it comes to dealing with anyone other than their own ilk…they do it with their own citizens for godlsake! trump is a good representative of the US because he is Just Like Them! Bad through and through. They know no other way, but they have got to be taught a good hard lesson….but by whom??? Somebody stand up for what’s right!

  4. James Willy says

    So why are the planes allowed to fly with fake codes? China needs to identify the planes then shoot them down when found to be fakes. Hard to believe China allows this to keep happening. Why do they refuse to fight back?

    1. Mary E says

      They (most likely) don’t find out that the planes were using the fake IDs
      until they were over neutral territory – sea or land. But if the Chinese sent up their military planes to check those intruders out, then they would find out quite quickly and get rid of the problem then and there.

  5. ke4ram says

    The USA is in the business of War! Which is why more than half of the population are unemployed, have few skills and a poor edumacation. It can’t even produce it’s own toaster oven but will waste resources on military projects and equipment whose sole purpose is the transfer of wealth to the war mongers. Americans worship the military, indoctrinated int believing they are fighting for freedom, justice and the American way—(whatever that is).

    As an Ex “service” member I can attest the military does none of that. I was involved in the Viet Nam debacle where 56,000 Americans needlessly died and hundreds of thousand wounded and their lives ruined. We have no real idea of how many of the “enemy” died. Today Viet Nam produces apparel and other retail goods for Americans. So much for the Domino Theory BS.

    Even while America is shredding itself to pieces, its massive unemployment its government still finds time for killing and terrorizing the world at large while claiming it’s all in defense of the nation. Nothing will change in the upcoming election scam. Like all previous elections it will only get worse. Both idiots will further and likely increase the killing, increase the money credit creation, increase the fake corona hype and increasing the Stasi Police State, shutting down even more businesses and killing more jobs while eliminating the last standing Amendment of the constitution it trashed years ago.

    Americans will line up for their free money, free vaccinations, free phones, free college, free this and free that and anything else that keeps them from having to work for a living.

  6. pinOKYO nOSE says

    uncle samuel doesn’t even need spy planes given the plethora of spy satellites that can read the date on a coin from orbit

  7. thomas malthaus says

    Gwadar and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

    Washington most assuredly doesn’t approve.

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