Chinese spy balloon may have been outfitted with explosives to self-destruct, Pentagon says
THE Chinese spy balloon may have been outfitted with explosives in an attempt to self-destruct, a senior Pentagon official said yesterday.
Air Force Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, commander of US Northern Command, also said it was 200 feet tall, weighed thousands of pounds, and its payload was the size of a jet plane.
President Joe Biden on Saturday ordered the Air Force to shoot down the balloon off South Carolina.
The Air Force sent an F-22 fighter jet armed with an AIM-9X Sidewinder missile to do the job.
The delay exposed the president to attacks from Republicans and was defended by National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.
He said, “Because the President decided they wouldn’t shoot him down until he could do so safely, and that meant afloat, this gave us a great opportunity to get a better understanding and study the capabilities of this balloon.”
He added: “So I can’t confirm if there were explosives or not.
“Anytime you shut something down like that, we assume that potential is there.”
VanHerck said the bulk of the debris has been collected, but there is a chance some could come ashore.
He warned people to call the authorities and stay away.
Weather conditions have not yet allowed the underwater recovery effort to fully begin, Kirby said.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7324841/chinese-spy-balloon-rigged-explosives-self-destruct-pentagon/ Chinese spy balloon may have been outfitted with explosives to self-destruct, Pentagon says