Find out why the US Air Force shot down the Chinese spy balloon using an expensive $400,000 AIM-9X Sidewinder missile!
Claim : US Shot Down Spy Balloon Using Expensive Missile!
Pro-CCP netizens are mocking the US government for shooting down a cheap Chinese weather balloon using an expensive $400,000 AIM-9X Sidewinder missile!
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Why US Shot Down Chinese Spy Balloon With Missile!
This is yet another example of PROPAGANDA created and propagated by the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛), and pro-CCP netizens, and here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : There Were Two Chinese Balloons
On Friday, February 3, 2023, China admitted that the massive balloon hovering over the US state of Montana belonged to them, but claimed that it was a weather balloon and not a spy balloon.
Later that same Friday, a second balloon was spotted over Latin America. It took China another 3 days to admit that it was theirs, and another “weather balloon” that was “blown off course”.
Fact #2 : Chinese Balloon Was Not A Weather Balloon
Weather balloons are common – thousands are launched daily across the world to collect information on the temperature, wind and moisture in the upper atmosphere.
Weather balloons are not very large – expanding from 6 feet (1.8 metres) to 20 feet (6 metres) in diameter as they rise in altitude. Their payloads are also small, consisting of a small box with a few sensors.
The Chinese weather balloon that the US Air Force just shot down is not only much larger at around 90 feet (27.5 metres) wide, it also has a very large payload that includes large solar panels, and even propellers to control its movement.
Real weather balloons also do not travel far – they generally go up to a high altitude and stay there. Spy balloons, on the other hand, need to travel long distances. This Chinese balloon has travelled all the way from China to Alaska to Canada, before reaching the continental United States.
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Fact #3 : Chinese Balloon Was At Very High Altitude
The US Air Force sent two F-22 Raptor stealth fighters to take down the spy balloon, with two F-15 fighters to probably take videos and photos of the event.
While Chinese netizens may snigger at how the USAF has to use such an expensive fighter jet to shoot down a cheap Chinese balloon, they ignore the fact that the Chinese spy balloon was operating at a very high altitude of about 65,000 feet – that’s 20 km above ground level!
The F-22 Raptor was likely chosen for the task as it was most capable of flying to such a high altitude while loaded with missiles. Many jet fighters have “similar” maximum service ceilings, but their true service ceilings are often much lower, limited by the amount of armament and/or fuel they carry.
Fact #4 : Missile Was Necessary To Shoot Down Balloon
In the end, the F-22 Raptor with the callsign FRANK01 attained an altitude of 58,000 feet (17.7 km) before firing an AIM-9X Sidewinder missile at the balloon. It was the first air-to-air combat kill for the F-22.
While Chinese netizens mocked the use of such an expensive missile, the AIM-9X Sidewinder is the smallest and cheapest air-to-air missile in the USAF arsenal.
It would be impossible for the F-22 Raptor pilot to use its 20 mm M61A2 Vulcan rotary cannon to shoot down the balloon, which is still 7,000 feet (2.1 km) above it!
In case you are wondering – the M61A2 Vulcan has an effective range of only 2,000 feet (600 metres). So a missile was necessary to bring down the Chinese spy balloon, and the AIM-9X was the right tool for the job.
Interestingly, the FRANK callsign may be a reference to World War I Medal of Honor recipient First Lieutenant Frank Luke Jr., who is known as the “Arizona Balloon Buster” for shooting down 14 German balloons, as well as four planes.
Fact #5 : China Breaks International Law With Spy Balloon Overflights
It is ludicrous for anyone to claim that China can keep sending “cheap” spy balloons to trigger the Americans, as every country has “complete and exclusive sovereignty over the airspace above its territory” under international law.
Such acts are therefore violations of international law, and infringements of the sovereignty of the countries that these spy balloons overfly.
That’s why Chinese government keeps claiming that these spy balloons are civilian craft. That is also why the US government has the right to shoot down the spy balloon without asking China for permission.
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Fact #6 : Every Fallen Balloon Is An Intelligence Bonanza
In the United States, Republicans are complaining that President Joe Biden was weak in allowing the Chinese spy balloon to fly off the coast of South Carolina before shooting it down on Saturday afternoon, February 4, 2023.
What they don’t tell the people is that President Joe Biden asked the US Air Force to shoot down the spy balloon as soon as it was safe to do so.
On top of that, the US military wanted to retrieve the spy balloon to examine its payload, and the best way to keep the payload intact would be to bring down the balloon over shallow water, instead of land.
On Monday, February 6, 2023, the first parts of the Chinese spy balloon arrived at the FBI headquarters in Quantico, Virginia, for further analysis.
Depending on what they recover, it may be possible to determine what these spy balloons are capable of, what it recorded, and who manufactured its components. The Americans may possibly gain insights into hitherto unknown Chinese technologies.
Instead of mocking the Americans for shooting down a “cheap” spy balloon, perhaps the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛) and pro-CCP netizens should worry about what the Americans might find….
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