HomeNASASuspected Chinese language 'spy balloon' shot down by US fighter jet over...

Suspected Chinese language ‘spy balloon’ shot down by US fighter jet over sea

A Chinese language balloon that was travelling over the US, together with over army websites, was shot down by a fighter jet on 4 February


6 February 2023

A US fighter jet shot down a suspected Chinese language surveillance balloon on 4 February. It had been flying throughout the US, together with over delicate army bases.

The incident has raised worldwide tensions, main US secretary of state Antony Blinken to postpone a deliberate go to to China.

The balloon entered Alaskan airspace on 28 January and flew south over Canada earlier than returning to US airspace over Idaho on 31 January.

The US claims the balloon was on an intelligence-gathering mission, travelling over numerous delicate army websites together with missile silos. China claims the balloon was for meteorological statement and had merely blown off beam.

US officers say comparable balloons flew over the US not less than thrice throughout Donald Trump’s presidency and as soon as earlier in Joe Biden’s, however this flight was the longest in period and it’s the first time particulars have been made public.

A Chinese spy balloon drifting to the ocean after being shot down

This Chinese language balloon drifted right down to the ocean after being hit by a missile off the coast of South Carolina on 4 February

Randall Hill/Reuters

Additionally they say that comparable balloons have been noticed over nations in Asia and Europe, whereas one other is passing over Central and South America – current sightings of it have been remodeled Costa Rica and Venezuela.

Biden gave orders on Wednesday 1 February for the army to shoot down the balloon, however it was a number of days earlier than it could possibly be introduced down with out danger to civilians.

The balloon was ultimately destroyed by a Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor jet from Langley Air Power Base in Virginia simply off the coast of South Carolina. The plane fired a single AIM-9X missile from an altitude of almost 18,000 metres (58,000 ft) on the balloon, which had been travelling at a top of 18,000 to 19,800 metres.

“Capturing the balloon down addressed the surveillance risk posed to army installations and additional neutralised any intelligence worth it may have produced, stopping it from returning to the PRC [People’s Republic of China],” mentioned an unnamed senior defence official on 4 February. “As well as, taking pictures the balloon down may allow the US to get better delicate PRC gear.”

Groups from the US Navy and FBI at the moment are working to get better the wreckage, which got here down in water solely 15 metres deep, however unfold out throughout an space spanning 11 kilometres.

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