Aerial duel of the U-2 aircraft with a Chinese spy balloon is caught in the photo

The US Department of Defense has published a curious image taken from the cockpit of a U-2 reconnaissance aircraft. On it we can see the infamous Chinese balloon. It was shot down over the United States.

Chinese balloon. View from the cockpit of the U-2. Source: 94th Airlift Wing

The Chinese balloon entered American airspace on January 28, 2023. According to a statement from Pentagon officials, it was intended for espionage. The balloon received energy from solar panels installed on it (they can be seen in the picture) and had a propeller that allowed it to perform maneuvers. According to military estimates, it carried equipment with a total weight of over 900 kg, designed to monitor the surface and intercept signals.

In turn, the Chinese authorities confirmed that the balloon belonged to them. At the same time, they denied any accusations of its espionage purpose. According to the statement of the representatives of the Celestial Empire, the balloon was intended for meteorological purposes and had a very limited ability to change course.

One of the main problems associated with tracking the Chinese balloon was that it was flying at an altitude of 18 km. This is above the limit of almost all civilians, as well as most military aircraft. Therefore, the Pentagon decided to use the U-2. Its limit is 21 km to track the Chinese intruder. Thus, ironically, the legendary reconnaissance aircraft, which at one time made reconnaissance flights over the USSR and China, were used in a mission over the territory of the United States itself.

U-2 received detailed images of the intruder, which allowed to determine its main characteristics and type of equipment. They also completely jammed the signals transmitted to them. After analyzing the collected information, the US military decided to destroy the device. It was shot down on February 4 off the coast of California. The wreckage of the balloon was then recovered from the water. It is currently being examined by specialists.

We also wrote that many recent reports of UFOs over the United States might be related to other Chinese balloons.

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