Someone(s) in the Chinese leadership circles having a bit of fun with President "Pooh"?
Seems rather clumsy to me, but China now seems intent on tempting major conflict bereft of any significant allies inter alia, so it might well be either internal duplicity, incompetence and/or overconfidence.
Wouldn't be the first time for any of the above. China's initial reaction to the take down is quite bellicose as opposed to the earlier relatively conciliatory statements.
While China has been playing with Uncle Joe, they have proved they can deploy a potential weapon that can travel the entire breadth of the US without any repercussions. Kinda ballsy for a country that allegedly infected the entire world & has probably gotten away with it. The US has shown their leadership is pretty tame when attacked......or it's just a weather balloon that got off course, because China needs to study the weather patterns in the Pacific, because why?...........We have heard some chatter that the latest variant of Covid is burning thru China & will kill millions because their vaccines don't work. Karma?
I'm not especially convinced - it's a balloon, how do you steer it towards "sensitive locations"? At best you have to trust that the upper atmospheric winds will take it to where you want and not end up (for example) flying over the tundra of Canada gathering nothing (or ending up over Latin America spying on their "tippy top secret military stuff").
Based on all this information, It is highly improbable that a 9X which acquires target on rail and is supplemented by target's Line Of Sight (LOS) data from the Radar, misses a target that is within intercept range, non-maneuvering and not deploying any decoys. Only a malfunction in the missile can cause it to miss the target......
Answer (1 of 5): It’s very important to know that the whole story about AIM-9x missing the Syrian Su-22 because ‘AIM-9x is designed to defeat American flares’ is just a speculation that was based on 4477th Test & Evaluation Squadron’s experience with Soviet Mig-21s in 1980s when the AIM-9P at the...
Here is the radio coverage of yesterday's balloon hunt. There are some interesting things in it, there were several pairs of planes there, including an AIM-9X hanging on an F-15, which saw the balloon from 30 miles (55 km), the Eagles were given a lesson in altitude and fuel, and the Raptors arrived, minutes before the shot, already at 64 000 (!) feet.
I wonder what the next course would have been. I suspect it would have flown over West Africa and for some mysterious reason would have lost altitude and given back to the Chinese by the local "independent" authorities.
The high-altitude balloon now floating at 60,000 feet over the continental US is part of a broader Chinese spying program that’s seen many such devices sent over the nation, including some during the Trump administration, according to US officials.
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