Chinese warship seizes a US Navy underwater drone collecting data in South China Sea

The USS Normandy sails in the Bay of Bengal as U.S. Navy fighter aircrafts are stationed at the flight deck of aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) during Exercise Malabar 2015, some 152 miles off eastern coast of Chennai, India, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015. Naval warships, aircraft carriers and submarines from the U.S., India and Japan are conducting joint military exercises off India's east coast, signaling the growing strategic ties between the three navies as they face up to a rising China. (AP Photo/Arun Sankar K.)
The USS Normandy sails in the Bay of Bengal as U.S. Navy fighter aircrafts are stationed at the flight deck of aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) during Exercise Malabar 2015, some 152 miles off eastern coast of Chennai, India, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015. Naval warships, aircraft carriers and submarines from the U.S., India and Japan are conducting joint military exercises off India's east coast, signaling the growing strategic ties between the three navies as they face up to a rising China. (AP Photo/Arun Sankar K.)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Pentagon says a Chinese warship seized a U.S. Navy unmanned underwater glider that was collecting unclassified scientific data in the South China Sea.

Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, says the U.S. has issued a formal diplomatic complaint and is asking for the drone’s return.

Davis says a civilian U.S. Navy ship operated by the military’s Sealift Command was recovering two of the unmanned gliders about 50 miles northwest of Subic Bay near the Philippines when the Chinese ship approached and took one of the small vessels. He says the Chinese ship acknowledged radio messages from the U.S. ship, but did not respond to demands the glider be returned.