The U.S. military launched an interceptor missile to shoot down an unidentified flying object over Alaska on Friday, according to U.S. officials.
The New York Times reported that the object, which was flying at approximately 40,000 feet, could have posed a threat to civilian aircraft, though it is not yet confirmed by officials whether or not the object was a Chinese surveillance balloon.
The decision to use an F-22 Raptor to fire an air-to-air AIM-9X Sidewinder missile and shoot down a Chinese spy balloon over the Atlantic Ocean last week came days after President Joe Biden permitted it to fly thousands of miles over the continental U.S. The missile was launched from approximately 58,000 feet in altitude, according to reports.
#BREAKING: John Kirby confirms the Biden administration ordered fighter aircraft shot down "a high altitude object over Alaska air space…within the last hour" that we had been tracking for "the last 24 hours," adding "the object…posed a reasonable threat" pic.twitter.com/8Aa70xZ3zj
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) February 10, 2023
On Friday, U.S. military forces used an F-22 Raptor to shoot down a Chinese spy balloon over the Atlantic Ocean with a single air-to-air AIM-9X Sidewinder missile, fired at an altitude of approximately 58,000 feet. The decision came after President Joe Biden gave permission for the balloon to fly thousands of miles over the continental United States earlier last week.
U.S. officials reported a breach of airspace over Alaska late Thursday night, though no confirmation has been made as to its origin. The unidentified object was reportedly in the sky for a short time before U.S. military forces employed an interceptor missile to shoot it down from approximately 40,000 feet in altitude.