Chinese "weather" balloon shoot-down over US

In summary: Russians and Chinese. In summary, the Chinese government said that this weather balloon was a research balloon, but it was shot down with an AIM-9X missile. The missile cost several hundred thousand dollars, and the balloon was less useful than that because it didn't have any countermeasures.
  • #141
Nena’s take
 
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  • #142
Interesting timeline from CNN:

https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/08/politics/chinese-spy-balloon-timeline-lack-urgent-action/index.html

Scrambling fighter jets

On January 28, when the balloon entered US airspace near Alaska, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, sent up fighter jets to make a positive identification, according to defense officials, reflecting a subtle shift in urgency.

Still, officials tracking the balloon saw little reason to be alarmed. At the time, according to US officials, this balloon was expected to sail over Alaska and continue on a northern trajectory that intelligence and military officials could track and study.

Instead, shortly after the balloon crossed over land, it alarmed officials by making its unexpected turn south.

On January 31, the balloon had crossed out of Canada and into the Lower 48. And concerns that the balloon had been sent by Beijing explicitly to spy on the mainland US were confirmed when NORAD observed the balloon “loitering” over sensitive military facilities, multiple sources familiar with the intelligence told CNN.

How much control China exerted over the balloon’s path remains a matter of debate. Although the balloon was equipped with propellers and a rudder that allowed it to turn “like a sailboat,” according to the senior US official, it largely rode the jet stream – one of the reasons US officials were able to predict its path across the US in advance.
 
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  • #144
  • #145
When you're a Jet you're a Jet all the way.
 
  • #146
WWGD said:
BHow do you know it's all it was? Nations don't usually fly " weather "balloons ( how do you know what was actually inside of the balloon) incognito past each other.
Chines people are not stupid to send their spy equipment on such a voyage. Too risky if it gets off course. Besides, they have over 300 satellites, so they have surely scanned the whole US territory by now. Many times over. And what do you thing US equipment (i.e. satellites) are doing up there ? Having parties ? Come on... Everybody is spying on everyone. Just a fact.
 
  • #147
discoversci said:
Everybody is spying on everyone. Just a fact.
Reminds me of the old joke about peeing in the swimming pool.
You know, even if it's a bit fuzzy thing, doing it from the jump board is kind of different...
 
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  • #148
discoversci said:
Come on... Everybody is spying on everyone. Just a fact.
A lot of bad can be justified with this class of argument.
 
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  • #149
discoversci said:
Chines people are not stupid to send their spy equipment on such a voyage. Too risky if it gets off course. Besides, they have over 300 satellites, so they have surely scanned the whole US territory by now. Many times over. And what do you thing US equipment (i.e. satellites) are doing up there ? Having parties ? Come on... Everybody is spying on everyone. Just a fact.
I hope the Americans are thinking like that but I really doubt it.

A satellite orbiting the earth is not in US air space, checkout the US list here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prohibited_airspace

Also lots of Chinese Satellites yes but they cannot hold a position over one spot like a balloon can is what has been pointed out.

The debris from the balloon has been recovered now so lets see.
 
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  • #150
pinball1970 said:
I hope the Americans are thinking like that but I really doubt it.

A satellite orbiting the earth is not in US air space, checkout the US list here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prohibited_airspace

Also lots of Chinese Satellites yes but they cannot hold a position over one spot like a balloon can is what has been pointed out.

The debris from the balloon has been recovered now so lets see.
They already released the preliminary findings. Just like they thought, tons of SIGINT equipment for measuring and triangulating signals. A propeller with a rudder. It's a spy balloon.
 
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  • #151
Foxy Loxy said "A piece of it just hit me on the head!"

🐔
 
  • #152
Rive said:
Reminds me of the old joke about peeing in the swimming pool.
You know, even if it's a bit fuzzy thing, doing it from the jump board is kind of different...
Remember Lockheed U-2 spy plane ? I guess Soviets found a way at that time. They've used urine-indicator dye and hence located the perpetrator (wee-wee master) as well as being able to measure the exact height of the jump board. And what's with that (almost) everyday violation of "one China" principle ? Somebody is obviously violating the airspace of China on a daily basis 😂
 
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  • #153
Frabjous said:
A lot of bad can be justified with this class of argument.
I'm not justifying anything. I'm just saying it's a fact 😁
 
  • #154
boneh3ad said:
They already released the preliminary findings. Just like they thought, tons of SIGINT equipment for measuring and triangulating signals. A propeller with a rudder. It's a spy balloon.
If you say so. And if the US gov says so 🤡
 
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  • #155
discoversci said:
If you say so. And if the US gov says so 🤡
(last reminder to avoid heading too much into politics, or this thread will be done. Thank you)
 
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  • #158
It's hard not to read into the current events without putting it into the context of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, and the US pledge to enter into a direct war with China to defend Taiwan if necessary. Just prior to the balloon incident, a memo leaked from a US 4 star general, saying that he predicts the US and China will be at war by 2025 for these reasons.

In this context, the balloon incident can be a signal. By flying a blatantly visible spy balloon over the US nuclear missile silos, it sends the message that China is preparing, or prepared, to engage the US in a nuclear war if it comes to it. By showing they are serious about this possibility, it can potentially help deter the US from taking the risk to defend Taiwan.
 
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  • #159
berkeman said:
It was at 40,000 feet, so deemed a threat to civilian aircraft...
Since my daughter is a pilot, I'm glad they shot the damned thing down.
 
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  • #160

'It was a success': White House says a second 'high altitude object' shot down over Alaska​

WASHINGTON — The U.S. shot down an unidentified object Friday over frozen waters near Alaska at the order of President Joe Biden, less than one week after shooting down a Chinese spy balloon off the East Coast.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news...tude-object-shot-own-over-alaska/11229937002/

This balloon is thought to have originated at little Cindy Davis's birthday party. Cindy and her friends have no comment so far.
 
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  • #161
(Note: a few posts that were over the line of "too political" have been deleted.)
 
  • #162
There are many great rivalries in aviation...
F4U vs A6M
Bf-109 vs Spitfire
MiG-15 vs F-86
MiG-21 vs F-4
F-15 vs Su-27
and at last the F-22 vs Balloons
 
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  • #163
Ivan Seeking said:
This balloon is thought to have originated at little Cindy Davis's birthday party. Cindy and her friends have no comment so far.
Just an update -- Cindy's dad was wearing a parachute and was able to bail out as the F22s approached...
lawn-chair-larry_copycat.jpg

https://tilln.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/lawn-chair-larry_copycat.jpg
 
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  • #166
Jarvis323 said:
In this context, the balloon incident can be a signal. By flying a blatantly visible spy balloon over the US nuclear missile silos, it sends the message that China is preparing, or prepared, to engage the US in a nuclear war if it comes to it. By showing they are serious about this possibility, it can potentially help deter the US from taking the risk to defend Taiwan.
That was my point earlier. It may seem harmless enough, but it could be a prelude to nuclear war. They are apparently probing some of our most sensitive nuclear installations.

But then we lived on the brink of nuclear annihilation on and off for 40 years during the cold war. So, just another day on the farm. Mutually assured destruction has always saved the day so far!
 
  • #167
Ivan Seeking said:
LOL! I remember the original! And yes, it really did happen - Lawn-chair Larry. I listened to live coverage as he got too close to an airport.
I believe he shot his own balloons too.
 
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  • #168
BillTre said:
I believe he shot his own balloons too.
IIRC, he dropped his BB gun. :oops: But he did come down eventually.
 
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  • #169
Ivan Seeking said:
IIRC, he dropped his BB gun.
Doh!
 
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  • #170
The government and media are officially calling the second object, unidentified, and not definitively a balloon. And of course, this is already being cited as one of those UAPs [UFOs] the government was talking about.

NOPE! Don't be fooled by the nonsense! Balloons were specifically identified along with other "sky clutter"

1676075663348.png


https://www.dni.gov/files/ODNI/documents/assessments/Unclassified-2022-Annual-Report-UAP.pdf#:~:text=Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) reporting is increasing, enabling,provided in the classified version of this report.

It is the other 171 unidentified objects where some have demonstrated "unusual flight characteristics or performance capabilities", as cited in the last sentence, that get interesting.
 
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  • #171
Ivan Seeking said:
The government and media are officially calling the second object, unidentified, and not definitively a balloon. And of course, this is already being cited as one of those UAPs [UFOs] the government was talking about.

At some point, we may start to see deniable (i.e. no distinguishing features) decoy balloons designed to get governments to waste their resources tracking and shooting them.
 
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  • #172
You'll know we've come full circle when the balloons go a full circle and we start shooting down our own decoys.
 
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  • #174
The comedians seem surprisingly slow. I would have expected to see various cartoons involving Winnie the Pooh hanging from a balloon... :oldbiggrin:
 
  • #175
strangerep said:
The comedians seem surprisingly slow. I would have expected to see various cartoons involving Winnie the Pooh hanging from a balloon... :oldbiggrin:
FoFIUPzXkAMPrqP.jpg


I have seen a couple of Chinese versions of the incident but that point of view would get banned as politics.
 
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