Thursday, April 18, 2024

US fighter jets intercept high-altitude balloon

NORAD, the military command responsible for air defense over the U.S. and Canada, confirmed it had detected a small, high-altitude balloon drifting across the U.S. border.

The balloon, detected floating between 43,000 and 45,000 feet, raised concerns leading to NORAD’s intervention over Utah. However, after investigation, it was determined that the balloon was not maneuverable and posed no risk to national security or flight safety, as confirmed by both NORAD and the FAA.

“The balloon was intercepted by NORAD fighters over Utah, who determined it was not maneuverable and did not present a threat to national security. NORAD will continue to track and monitor the balloon,” NORAD said in a statement.

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This incident follows heightened sensitivity to balloon overflights since a previous encounter involving a large, white Chinese spy balloon last year, which led to diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and China. Despite similarities, officials clarified that the recent balloon was not associated with any foreign adversary.

Last year’s balloon incident resulted in the cancellation of Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip to China, labeling the airship’s presence as an “irresponsible act” and culminating in the interception and destruction of the balloon by an F-22 jet fighter off the coast of South Carolina.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Emily Ryan Miller
Emily Ryan Miller
Emily Ryan Miller is an experienced journalist with excellent analytical skills and a deep understanding of military affairs. With her professional diligence and passion for the defense theme, Emily continues to inform the world about important aspects of the military sphere and deeply understands the significance of researching and tracking military events for the public and national security.

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