The United States Air Force (USAF) sent a warning on Monday after shooting down a Chinese surveillance balloon off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday.
General Glen VanHerck, Commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), revealed that this balloon was up to 200 feet tall and weighed more than two thousand pounds.
Wow: Northcom chief Gen. VanHerck says the balloon was up to 200 ft tall, with a payload the size of a jetliner. It weighed “in excess of a couple thousand lbs” and potentially carried explosives ” to detonate and destroy the balloon.”
— Lara Seligman (@laraseligman) February 6, 2023
The USAF general also noted that the balloon was carrying potentially explosive materials, possibly as part of a self-destruct mechanism. “We know what was in the payload compartment. We assessed it had an unusually large payload component or capacity,” said VanHerck. “And we also assess it has a surveillance component.”
He also said it carried explosives, “to detonate and destroy the balloon.”