The U.S. military recovered critical electronic components from a suspected Chinese spy balloon that was shot down off the coast of South Carolina this month, Northern Command said Monday.
U.S. military command said the crew recovered significant debris, including all “priority sensors and electronic components” and most of the structure.
The recovery of sensors and other electronic components is critical to the US effort to prove that balloons are surveillance ships and not civilian airships conducting weather research. China claims.
Separately, the White House on Monday said there was no evidence of that. 3 objects shot down over North America He added that although he was engaged in surveillance over the weekend, the possibility of espionage could not be ruled out.
National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said US President Joe Biden ordered the shooting down of an unidentified airborne object.Do not rule out that they were spying.
“Their altitude was Chinese high altitude balloon It posed a threat to civilian and commercial air traffic,” Kirby said, explaining the decision to hit the object with air-to-air missiles. It could not be ruled out.”
General Paul Prevost, chief of staff of the Canadian Strategic Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a press conference that the object shot down on Sunday was a “suspicious balloon”. His comments came after General Glen VanHerck, commander of the joint US-Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Force (Norad), said he was not prepared to describe the target as a balloon.
Prevost added that the United States and Canada first detected the object in southern Alberta, suggesting the military was trying to determine its origin before it entered Canadian airspace.
The Pentagon said two of the three objects appeared to be balloons, according to a person familiar with the US assessment.
The United States shot down a suspected Chinese reconnaissance balloon off the coast of South Carolina on February 4.
Washington claims the aircraft, which carried a payload the size of three school buses, was a surveillance balloon. Beijing claims it is a civilian airship conducting weather research.
Kirby on Monday also rejected US claims of China Flew 10 high altitude balloons in that airspace last year. “We are not flying surveillance balloons over China. [and] I am not aware of any other aircraft that were flying into Chinese airspace,” he said.
One reason Norad appears to be detecting more objects is that the military recalibrated its radar to be more sensitive after a suspected Chinese spy balloon intrusion, according to U.S. officials. It is in.
Kirby added that the U.S. is still evaluating the three airborne objects shot down since Friday and will learn more after the debris is recovered. said.
However, he warned that rescue operations would be difficult because the object fell “in a fairly remote and difficult-to-reach place.”
Canadian and US officials said they had not recovered debris from any of the three unidentified objects.
Sean McGills, executive director of the Canadian Federal Police Strategic Management Agency, said conditions on the Yukon River were “perilous” and that rescue operations on Lake Huron were also facing very severe weather conditions.
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