Love it … it was “blown off course, whilst collecting weather data” …
First a2a kill for an f22 raptor
I should not have scrolled down to the comments in that article. Sheesh, and I thought Mudspikers could go off topic?
Anyhoo. My main take-away from this balloon is that either Chinese satellite sensor resolution isn’t up to scratch or they were collecting something other than imagery and/or elint. My money is on the latter. So smart move shooting it down where there is a greater chance of recovering it (mainly) intact to find out what.
Heck, maybe they were telling the truth for once, but just like the boy that cried wolf… Nah, I don’t believe that for a second!
not when you yeet a $400k 20lbs warhead at it…
Y’all thinking AIM-120?
I kind of assumed that they’d just gun it. A couple of rounds would vent that thing…in a perfect world such that it descended rather than fell.
9x, most likely. 9x can “image” match.
Couple bust on 20mm TP and down it goes.
Multiple reports on the web, including CNN say a single F-22 shot a single AIM-9x.
That’s what I woulda thought as well. Surprised that it seems like they didn’t want to study it… but maybe they didn’t need to with all the hi-rez imagery that they would have already got?
Probably wasn’t a threat, We would have probably picked it up off well of the west coast, At that point, its treated as a satellite fly over. Hide all the crazy stuff and let it go. IMHO
The shooting it down was probably just to irritate the Chinese.
News reports aim9x. So how did that work? They hit the balloon, not the payload.
And why not use guns? The payload hitting the water from 60K ft won’t leave much to look at.
They obliterated the thing, 9X is a prox fuze
Wonder could they have tried a missile without a payload? Or an unarmed one?
Probably lots of reasons why that couldn’t work, but I like the idea of one being used as basically a giant crossbow bolt to pop that thing.
That’s my point. China have satellites, why send a balloon?
If it wasn’t gathering data they couldn’t get by other means, in which case I would want to know what sensor package was on board*, then it was to send a message (e.g. psyop)
But* if you have enough photos that are clear enough then there are lots of smart people that can work out what it was capable of and you might as well shoot it down in a somewhat spectacular fashion… personally I would have tracked it for longer let it nearly get ‘home’ and then shot it down. Just to send a message of my own
In my 2nd post above, you have to click on the text link to reach an Insta post with a closeup of the engagement. The weapon looks like it hit the equipment hanging from the bottom, and the resulting explosion pierced the ballon. It looks almost like a kinetic weapon, but probably just a missile.
I saw some closeup footage on Instagram as well and wondered if the missile were kinetic due to the lack of flash, but there was still the gray-ish poof that’s often seen from explosives.
Man that F-22 is looking rough. Are the first-generation (or second, third? Whatever) stealth coatings so difficult to maintain that they’re not even trying to do so?
ETA: I told my wife on the first day that if we wanted it gone, they’d use a laser to simply burn a hole in it. Surprised that’s not what happened.