A Chinese Spy Balloon?

Shoot it down?

  • Yes, Fighter

    Votes: 7 77.8%
  • Yes, ADA

    Votes: 1 11.1%
  • No

    Votes: 1 11.1%

  • Total voters
    9

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Marcel

rotartsinimdA
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10,155
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Sep 19, 2006
Dordrecht
www.redbeatband.nl
I'm still a bit puzzled. Why trying to gather info in a way that is so blatantly obvious? Just doesn't make sense at all.
Would be hilarious of the Americans do only find meteorologic equipment in the balloon. I'm wondering if we will ever know the truth.
 

GrauGeist

Generalfeldmarschall zur Luftschiff Abteilung
I'm still a bit puzzled. Why trying to gather info in a way that is so blatantly obvious? Just doesn't make sense at all.
Would be hilarious of the Americans do only find meteorologic equipment in the balloon. I'm wondering if we will ever know the truth.
I suspect it's more of a matter of "posturing".

In other words, it's not so much a spy or weather balloon (weather balloons are designed to go with the weather, not change course) as it is a psychological presence.
 

MIflyer

1st Sergeant
4,773
7,479
May 30, 2011
Cape Canaveral
The F-22's that shot down the balloon used the call sign "Frank" to honor this guy. And I'm sure y'all all know who he is, except maybe Viking Berserker. They used an AIM-9X.
From a Youtube video by Ward Carrol.

Screenshot 2023-02-05 at 13-49-42 The Inside Story on the F-22's Chinese Spy Balloon Kill - Yo...png
 

GrauGeist

Generalfeldmarschall zur Luftschiff Abteilung
And based upon some of the 'hyperventilating" seen over the last few days it worked a charm.
Which is interesting, because during the last president's term, China launched three "weather balloons" that travelled across the U.S. - which, by the way, they started appearing not long after the President threatened to reign in China's U.S. import dominance.
 

special ed

Senior Master Sergeant
3,615
7,628
May 13, 2018
Some things to consider:
What could it see that satellites could not.
The ground views would have been snow covered due to the unusual cold front.
Any ELINT it sent to China would have been interfered with (jammed) by the RC-135s circling it since it entered Alaska airspace.
By waiting to the near end of it's mission, we can tell from the remains and the final ELINT, just what it tried to do and what it CAN do.
The RC-135s (a Boeing product) have most likely recorded every transmission it made.
 

Thumpalumpacus

1st Lieutenant
6,686
9,485
Feb 5, 2021
Tejas
Any conjectures on just what intelligence they were trying to collect? It's so much easier to collect signals from an innocuous semi truck hauling a trailer full of gear. Optical imagery? Buy it from commercial sources. Missile silo coordinates? Bribe the Russians for it. They'll be happy to sell that info.

Perhaps either SIGINT of NORAD/other radar systems patterning, or sniffing the atmosphere for chemicals? Neither can really be done by satellite. Agree that a semi- trawling Interstates would be more subtle, but not sure it would activate aerial radar systems to a level perceptible on ground.

Or another possibility is simply testing American resolve to defend American airspace. Hard to say. Let's pull up the wreckage and see what sensors it was carrying.
 

Admiral Beez

1st Lieutenant
6,713
6,890
Oct 21, 2019
Toronto, Canada
Next, trying to shoot a missile at the balloon, which has next to no RCS, would be complicated, most likely the missile(s) would pass through and continue on until falling to earth - again, with no idea of where the missile(s) would end up.
I assumed the reason they sent a F-22 was for the opportunity to use some helmet guided weapon. There's no heat signature and little radar signature, so your standard AAMs might not work.
 

GrauGeist

Generalfeldmarschall zur Luftschiff Abteilung
I assumed the reason they sent a F-22 was for the opportunity to use some helmet guided weapon. There's no heat signature and little radar signature, so your standard AAMs might not work.
Most likely.

The F-15 certainly has the ceiling to get up there and intercept but lacks the electronic "fun stuff" the F-22 has.
 

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