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Chinese spy balloon over US

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Chinese spy balloon over US

Old 5th Feb 2023, 11:38
  #181 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by WHBM
Just shows how many military sites there are in the US.

I'm waiting for it to be reported that it narrowly missed a school. At least the finale provides plenty of opportunity for news editors to use their favourites, "plunged" and "plummeted".
Or worse still, a puppy farm.
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 12:45
  #182 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by WHBM
I'm waiting for it to be reported that it narrowly missed a school.
Of fish? I'm sure it did!
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 13:53
  #183 (permalink)  
 
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A question occurs to me - one that is unlikely to be answered by those who know - Does an F-22 have an auto-target for the gun?

That is, can the pilot pick a target on the radar, have the computer analyze the ballistics, and then the pilot hits the go-button and goes hand's off for the aircraft to let the plane take over and fire the shot? No need to "walk in" the rounds on an airborne target.

I've seen similar systems for rifles where the operator makes an initial target point selection, then uses cursor controls to fine tune the aiming point, and finally pulls the trigger. However the gun doesn't fire until the sight system detects the gun is correctly aimed. The gun bobs about as the user breaths and their heart beats so the user just needs to ensure on some sweep that the alignment, even momentary, occurs.
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 14:04
  #184 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Flyhighfirst
The Chinese have claimed ownership. Said it was a wether balloon gone astray. I had heard altitude was 60000.
If they claimed ownership and it is a civilian asset is there any evidence that the PRC gave any advance warning to the US?
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 14:41
  #185 (permalink)  
 
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Educate me, please.

It’s been reported the balloon was downed using an AIM-9x Sidewinder air to air missile.

As that missile uses passive IR technology to acquire and track the target, why use that missile instead of an AIM-120 AMRAAM?

My question is obviously based on wondering how much heat is produced by that balloon and its payload at 60k feet such that the Sidewinder could lock on and track it?

Cost aside, wouldn’t the AIM-120 have been a more logical choice, i.e., radar guided versus IR guided?
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 15:32
  #186 (permalink)  
 
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Does an F-22 have an auto-target for the gun?
Tech log entry after failed strafing run...."Gun NOT FITTED"
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 15:43
  #187 (permalink)  
 
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F-22A cannot fly without the gun fitted, so an unlikely entry in the tech log...
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 16:06
  #188 (permalink)  
 
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I know - think external pod.
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 17:00
  #189 (permalink)  
 
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Apparently, the gun port on the F-22 can’t be opened above 50k & the shot was taken at 58k which explains why an AIM-9 was used.
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 17:44
  #190 (permalink)  
 
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Why was it not forced down over Montana? Was it not feasible to put a few holes in it to bring it down slowly?
Was it bought down over water because the US knew it had no spying capabilities?

Mjb
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 18:00
  #191 (permalink)  
 
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I think they only come down slowly in movies
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 18:30
  #192 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ninthace
I think they only come down slowly in movies
this. Once the fabric is damaged the rupture will propagate.
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 18:47
  #193 (permalink)  
 
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We all know that the Chinese play the long game. I doubt anything of value would be found in the wreckage. The balloon could have served many functions, but perhaps one of them is merely a trial to test the potential of future Balloon raids using prevailing winds. The Japanese ineffective fire raids are well known, but what is less well known is the successful British Balloon raids on Germany during World War ii. Certainly the most cost effective bombing campaign of the war. Balloons with wire attachments, sometimes with a small charge. They caused a lot of damage to crops during the summer as well as bringing down power and telephone lines and even destroying a power station on one occasion. There were numerous German forces (civilian and military) tied down in trying to contain and mitigate the damage. They were dispatched by WAAF's (I may be incorrect on this but it was certainly women from one of the Forces) of whom I think at least one died. The damage caused was out of all proportion to the effort and cost involved. They simply used prevailing winds. I think Churchill urged caution in case the Germans retaliated, but it would be very rare indeed for this to occur simply because there were few, if any, prevailing winds toward the U.K. from Germany. Even the Germans were surprised that Britain did not make more use of them. Obviously they could not be directed and many found their way to neutral Switzerland and beyond who complained bitterly. But if China were to use them on a widespread campaign, for example releasing a million simultaneously, then I am sure it would cause chaos and yet be comparatively cheap to undertake without the need of modern weaponry. Just speculation of course, but it is a possibility. Would any country be prepared for that?
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 19:21
  #194 (permalink)  
 
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Presumably, being a balloon, then like any other balloon it just went where the wind took it?

Balloon pilots are able to use varying winds at different altitudes for directional control (clearly within limitations and not an exact science) and even high-up using Jetstream’s, so for me, the balloons incursion of US airspace was no accident.

Whether it be public/press or government/DoD response to this overfly, there can be no doubt, China will have learnt plenty from this episode.
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 20:26
  #195 (permalink)  
 
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"Frank One, Splash One, TOI One..." "That is a (inaudible) kill, the balloon is completely destroyed." What's the inaudible fragment?

There's audio, tweeted by a user thenewarea51....
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 20:58
  #196 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by LowandSlow1
Educate me, please.
It’s been reported the balloon was downed using an AIM-9x Sidewinder air to air missile.
As that missile uses passive IR technology to acquire and track the target, why use that missile instead of an AIM-120 AMRAAM?
My question is obviously based on wondering how much heat is produced by that balloon and its payload at 60k feet such that the Sidewinder could lock on and track it?
I would surmise that the attack run was made from the west, and we know it was from below the balloon.
Hence the balloon envelope would be reflecting the afternoon sun (it was ~14:40 local) and would be relatively warm against the easterly sky, also the only such object in view. Presumably the temperature difference was enough for the AIM-9X imaging infra-red sensor to resolve a 'target'
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 21:25
  #197 (permalink)  
 
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From a R&N post:

Here's a link to the weather blog of a University of Washington climatologist in which he analyzes the balloon path and how changing altitude into different wind directions could have steered it.

https://cliffmass.********.com/
PPRuNe doesn't like the "spotted blog" site, for some unknown reason. Here's the Tiny URL:

https://tinyurl.com/5erpsb7a
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 21:32
  #198 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Hilife
Balloon pilots are able to use varying winds at different altitudes for directional control (clearly within limitations and not an exact science) and even high-up using Jetstream’s, so for me, the balloons incursion of US airspace was no accident.
Yes, that fact has been mentioned several times already in the thread. AFAIK, nobody has disputed it.

But of course that doesn't actually prove that the balloon was under such control. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't.

See above post, for example.
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 22:21
  #199 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Captain Dart
I spent 28 years as an airline jock flying into and over China on a regular basis. Observations:

Convoluted air routes to avoid their military bases (not that you could see much as the country is 99% smog).

Sometimes threatening or actually having to declare an emergency in order to get clearance to deviate to avoid thunderstorms.

Narrow, crowded corridors for civvies to fly in with the military controlling the rest of their airspace.

A general impression of a paranoid regime.

My point? I can imagine the squealing from the ChiComms if a huge American ‘weather balloon’ ever overflew their neck of the woods.
What a load of tosh. 99% of the country is amazing beautiful. 1% is smog. I guess on all those layovers you did nothing else but stay in your hotel and…. Can leave that to the imagination. Taking the politics out of it, China is an absolutely amazing country with great, friendly people. The government might be messed up, but then so are the UK, US, Russian… and quite a few others.
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Old 6th Feb 2023, 00:08
  #200 (permalink)  
 
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The messed-up government is what 99% of my post was aimed at
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