F-22 jet shoots down ‘high-altitude’ unidentified object over Alaska just one week after downing Chinese spy balloon: Agents recover aircraft the ‘size of a car’ from the ice
- The Pentagon shot down an unknown object flying in U.S. airspace off the coast of Alaska on Friday on orders from President Joe Biden, the White House said
- ‘The object was flying at 40,000 feet and posed a reasonable threat to the safety of civilian flight’ said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby
- Kirby said the military successfully shot down the object over the U.S.’s territorial waters, which are currently frozen
A U.S. military fighter jet shot down an unknown object flying in U.S. airspace off the coast of Alaska on Friday on orders from President Joe Biden, the White House said.
‘So, I can confirm that the Department of Defense was tracking a high-altitude object over Alaska airspace in the last 24 hours,’ National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said at Friday’s briefing. ‘The object was flying at 40,000 feet and posed a reasonable threat to the safety of civilian flight.’
Kirby said that ‘out of an abundance of caution and at the recommendation of the Pentagon, President Biden ordered the military to down the object and they did, and it came inside our territorial waters.’
He said U.S. authorities do not know if the object was ‘state-owned’ and described it as ‘much, much smaller’ than the Chinese spy balloon shot down Saturday.
Kirby said it was ‘roughly the size of a small car’ and had no significant payload.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby confirmed Friday that there was an object flying over Alaska airspace and President Joe Biden ordered it shot down
‘I am not classifying it as a balloon right now,’ he also said.
Originally discovered on Thursday, Biden ordered to shoot it down on Friday morning, after military pilots determined the object was unmanned.
A pair of F-22 fighter jets were sent to monitor the object near the northeastern corner of Alaska, close to the Canadian border and over the Beaufort Sea. One of the pilots launched a single AIM-9X Sidewinder missile, which brought the object down to the frozen waters of the Arctic Ocean but inside U.S. territory.
The Federal Aviation Administration put in place temporary flight restrictions near the town of Deadhorse, Alaska.
The admission comes after much of last week was devoted to Biden’s handling of a Chinese spy balloon, which was spotted in Montana and then drifted all the way to South Carolina’s coastline, before the Air Force sent an F-22 to take it down with an AIM-9X Sidewinder missile on Saturday.
Last week’s Chinese spy balloon after it was shot down by an F-22 on Saturday over South Carolina’s coastline
An AIM-9M Sidewinder was used to bring down the Chinese spy balloon off the coast of North Carolina as well as the ‘unidentified object’ over Alaska on Friday.
Biden insisted that he gave the order to shoot down the balloon on Wednesday, but listened to Defense Department officials’ advice to wait until it was over water, because it was so large.
The Pentagon described that balloon as being 200-feet tall, weighing thousands of pounds and with a payload the size of a jetliner.
The delay opened him up to political attacks from Republicans, who demanded that the Chinese spy balloon be shot down immediately.
The president, speaking to Noticias Telemundo’s Julio Vaqueiro Thursday in Tampa, said it was ‘not a major breach’ for the balloon to fly almost the entire length of the U.S.
The State Department determined that the balloon was part of Beijing’s vast surveillance network.
The balloon had multiple antennas that were likely capable of collecting and geo-locating communications.
It flew over military bases housing U.S. missiles.
‘It’s totally… it’s a violation of international law. It’s our airspace. And once it comes into our space, we can do what we want with it,’ Biden said in the same interview.