04 February 2023

You Blew It Up! Ah, Damn You! God Damn You All to Hell!


I’m ready for my close up Mr. DeMille.

We just shot down the Chinese balloon.

Reports are that it was done by an F-22 with an AIM-9X Sidewinder, which was about $300,000 more than than using the cannon, for reasons that are unclear to me.

A U.S. Air Force F-22 fired a single AIM-9X missile at 58,000 ft., downing a Chinese surveillance balloon off the coast of South Carolina on Feb. 4 that ended a three-day-long international saga.

The F-22 from the 1st Fighter Wing at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, hit the balloon, which was flying between 60,000 and 65,000 ft. when it crossed over open water at 2:39 p.m. local time near Myrtle Beach.


The Chinese Foreign Ministry in a Feb. 2 statement said the balloon was used for meteorological research, and it had drifted off course, a claim the Pentagon says is obviously false. As the balloon drifted over the U.S., the Pentagon drafted plans to shoot it down while also closely monitoring where the balloon drifted and trying to determine what comprised its payload.


The balloon’s payload was not particularly sophisticated, and it did not provide additional value compared to existing satellite capabilities, the official says. The Pentagon was able to mitigate its collection by protecting valuable locations as it crossed over, the official argues.

The downing is the first air-to-air kill for the Lockheed Martin F-22. Livestreams showed a missile trail heading to the balloon and a brief explosion, before it quickly began to fall.

OK, now I get it.  First air to air kill by an F-22. 

I'd still like to know what the payload for the balloon was, and why the Pentagon decided to make a tempest in a teapot.


Anonymous said...

As to why to use a sidewinder, you nephew researched it.
The jet cannot get high enough to use cannon, so needed a missile. Contact Sam to get the figures.

Anonymous said...

Your nephew Sam ran the numbers.
Given altitude and ranges, there is no way to use cannon fire to hit the balloon.

Stephen Montsaroff said...

Your nephew ran the numbers on this one, and given the ceiling of the F22 and the range of cannon fire, Sam found an F22 could not have shot down the balloon with cannon given the altitude.

This may or may not apply to the other objects, but is germane here. (BTW, did the price go up between this and the later posts?)

Stephen Montsaroff said...

BTW, you need to update your copyright.

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