US Government Takes Down Chinese Surveillance Balloon With Fighter Aircraft; Lloyd Austin Quoted

1 min read

Lloyd Austin, secretary of the Department of Defense a 2023 Wash100 inductee, said a U.S. fighter jet of U.S. Northern Command took down a high-altitude surveillance balloon belonging to China off the coast of South Carolina in response to President Joe Biden’s order.

The balloon, which was being used by the PRC in an attempt to surveil strategic sites in the continental United States, was brought down above U.S. territorial waters,” Austin said in a statement published Saturday.

The U.S. defense secretary shared that the government of Canada helped track and analyze the balloon through North American Aerospace Defense Command and supported the action to take down the balloon.

DOD News reported an F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft from the 1st Fighter Wing at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia brought down the balloon after firing an AIM-9X Sidewinder missile from an altitude of 58,000 feet.

First detected on Jan. 28, the balloon travelled across Alaska and Canada before it reentered the U.S. airspace via Idaho.

A senior defense official said the surveillance balloon’s recovery will enable U.S. analysts to analyze sensitive equipment from China.

On Thursday, Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, DOD press secretary, issued a statement informing the public that the U.S. government was closely monitoring the balloon.

ExecutiveGov Logo

Sign Up Now! Executive Gov provides you with Free Daily Updates and News Briefings about Government Technology