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Chinese Spy Balloon loitering over continental US

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Chinese Spy Balloon loitering over continental US

Old 5th Feb 2023, 08:09
  #81 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Flyhighfirst
It would have been a gun run and not a missile they would have used.
It's very clear from at least some of the videos that there's a missile launch from the fighter a few seconds before the balloon goes pop.
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 08:38
  #82 (permalink)  
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Again if I remember correctly from my discussions with the F-22 demo pilot in KOSH there are no guns on an F-22, but it can carry an underwing pod holding a large 20mm one. Not sure if a on high altitude intecept mission it would carry an underwing pod. Nevertheless the Pentagon said the F-22 used a "a single AIM-9X supersonic, heat-seeking, air-to-air missile" , the "heat seeking part" is somewhat ironinc here , and the supersoninc probably overdone too, but they got the job done at the exact location they wanted to , so congrats. If they missed and it was outisde the 22 Km sovereingn airspace limit it would have been shooting down an aircraft in international airspace, a totally different ball game politically....
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 09:09
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Originally Posted by Mostly Harmless
Serious question but, would a missle even explode if it hit a balloon? Or did it just tear through it like tissue paper?

Seems like an expensive method to kill a balloon. Cost of an AIM-9 compared to a weather balloon... maybe I'm wrong there.
From a couple of the pictures available this morning it appears to me that the missile hit the instrument package.
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 09:47
  #84 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Flyhighfirst
It would have been a gun run and not a missile they would have used.
Seriously? How would that work?
A gun would only make pinprick holes in such a balloon that would have little effect on it for many hours if not days. It certainly wouldn't be possible to 'burst' it with a gun.
Quite how an IR homing missile manages to 'see' the cold-soaked payload is strange, or does that version of Sidewinder have radar homing too? In any case it'll make sure there's nothing left to examine which sounds thoroughly counter-productive.
Maybe they just aren't that bothered to find out what it was carrying, which suggests either they know already or son't consider it a credible threat to anyone (other than the miniscule possibility of it doing any damage falling to ground over the vast, empty midwest).
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 11:03
  #85 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by togsdragracing
From a couple of the pictures available this morning it appears to me that the missile hit the instrument package.
An air to air missile doesn't "hit" anything.

It explodes in proximity to the target.
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 11:43
  #86 (permalink)  
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In any case it'll make sure there's nothing left to examine which sounds thoroughly counter-productive.
I would no doubt that if the package was transmitting those transmissions would be the subject of inception and decoding.
If it was collecting data for eventual retrieval by the owner, the owner can come and search for it.
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 14:35
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Originally Posted by meleagertoo
Quite how an IR homing missile manages to 'see' the cold-soaked payload is strange, or does that version of Sidewinder have radar homing too?
According to public domain info things have very much moved on with heat seekers since the days of things like the 9G and 9L which needed to the seeker to "see" a hot spot/hotspots.

The 9X (and some other modern heaters) uses some fancy technology to image the target in the IR (and anything with a temperature above absolute zero is emitting IR to some degree) and then the missile flies a suitable course towards the image....amongst other that increases the resistance to being decoyed by flares and perhaps (rumour) even the ability to select a vulnerable bit of structure to aim for.



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Old 5th Feb 2023, 15:24
  #88 (permalink)  
 
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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/
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 16:50
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Originally Posted by Mostly Harmless
Serious question but, would a missle even explode if it hit a balloon? Or did it just tear through it like tissue paper?

Seems like an expensive method to kill a balloon. Cost of an AIM-9 compared to a weather balloon... maybe I'm wrong there.
Reporting is that an AIM-9X was employed. Most air-to-air missiles fuse on proximity rather than contact. From the video, it was very effective in nearly instantaneously destroying the envelope. A gun run would have made a lot of holes in the envelope, but maybe not drop the payload where assets were deployed to recover it, plus the hazard of the interceptor colliding with the target. Seems to me that they made the right weapon choice.
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 17:51
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One reason the US did not bring it down over remote Montana could be that the wreckage would have revealed if the payload was benign.

​​​​​
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 18:51
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Ah yes, thanks.
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 18:51
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Originally Posted by Chesty Morgan
An air to air missile doesn't "hit" anything.

It explodes in proximity to the target.
I see. Thanks.
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 19:00
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Originally Posted by twb3
drop the payload where assets were deployed to recover it
Do we know that that's the case?

Has the payload in fact been recovered?
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 19:49
  #94 (permalink)  
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This is no longer an R&N topic, please take your contributions to Chinese spy balloon over US
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