THE Chinese spy balloon might have been rigged with explosives to self-destruct, a top Pentagon official said yesterday.
Air Force Gen Glen D. VanHerck, commander of the US Northern Command, also said it was 200-feet tall, weighed thousands of pounds and its payload was the size of a jetliner.
2A top Pentagon official said the Chinese spy balloon might have been rigged with explosives to self-destructCredit: Rex2President Biden ordered the Air Force to shoot the balloon down on SaturdayCredit: AFPPresident Joe Biden ordered the Air Force to shoot the balloon down off South Carolina on Saturday.
The Air Force sent an F-22 fighter jet armed with an AIM-9X Sidewinder missile to do the job.
The delay opened the president up to attacks from Republicans and was defended by National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.
He said: “Because the president decided they wouldn’t shoot it down until he could do so safely, and that meant over water, that afforded us a terrific opportunity to gain a better understanding, to study the capabilities of this balloon.”
He added: “So I can’t confirm whether it had explosives or not.
“Anytime you down something like this, we make an assumption that that potential exists.”
VanHerck said the majority of the debris had been collected, but there was a possibility some could come ashore.
He warned people to call the authorities and stay away from it.
Weather conditions had yet to allow undersea recovery efforts to fully begin, Kirby said.
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk