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US Navy Triton spotted prowling over Taiwan's ADIZ

US Navy surveillance drone spotted flying just off southern tip of Taiwan

MQ-4C Triton. (Northrup Grumman image)

MQ-4C Triton. (Northrup Grumman image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Aircraft spotters detected a U.S. Navy surveillance drone flying just off the coast of southern Taiwan Wednesday (Dec. 9), well within the country's air defense identification zone (ADIZ).

At 3:28 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, the Beijing-based South China Sea (SCS) Probing Initiative posted a tweet claiming that a U.S. Navy Northrup Grumman MQ-4C Triton was operating over the South China sea that day. Aircraft spotter Jort Enthusiast at 3:30 p.m. announced on Twitter that a USN MQ-4C with the Mode-S hex code AE5C76 was flying just south of Taiwan and "high above the South China Sea."

Three minutes later, Twitter user Ketagalan wrote that the aircraft had passed through the Bashi Channel. At 3:35 p.m., aircraft spotter Tokyo Radar wrote that a U.S. Navy unmanned aerial vehicle was located to the south of Taiwan at an altitude of 46,000 feet at 4:24 p.m. Japan Time, or 3:24 p.m. in Taiwan.

Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense has yet to issue any comment on the drone's alleged flight.

Updated : 2021-10-20 03:41 GMT+08:00