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Philippine Parola-class vessel hit by Chinese laser, says coastguard

An image released by the Philippine Coast Guard on 13 February, purportedly depicting the moment its Parola-class vessel, BRP Malapascua, was hit by a Chinese-deployed laser. (Philippine Coast Guard)

A Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Parola-class patrol vessel was hit by a Chinese-deployed “military-grade” laser while it was on a resupply mission, the service claimed on 13 February.

The vessel, BRP Malapascua (4403), was hit by the laser on 6 February while it was resupplying Philippine Navy crew stationed on Second Thomas Shoal, the service added. The laser was deployed from onboard a China Coast Guard (CCG) vessel.

The PCG did not name the CCG vessel involved in the incident. However, based on images released by the service, Janes is able to identify it as the Zhaojun (Type 718B)-class 100 m offshore patrol vessel (OPV) Haijing 5205.

Second Thomas Shoal is a feature in the South China Sea that is claimed by China, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Manila refers to it as Ayungin Shoal, and it is presently inhabited by a garrison of about 12 Philippine Navy personnel who live onboard BRP Sierra Madre – a non-operational landing ship that has been deliberately marooned on the feature.

“As BRP Malapascua reached a 10 n mile distance from Ayungin Shoal, the CCG vessel was monitored approximately 4 n mile of the ship's dead ahead manoeuvring from the portside heading starboard side,” reads the PCG statement.

“The Chinese ship illuminated the green laser light twice towards the BRP Malapascua

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