Chinese spy balloon collects intelligence from secret US military installations – NBC

Alexander Topchy17:29, 04/03/23

The intelligence that China gathered was mainly based on electronic signals that could be received from weapons systems or include reports from base personnel.

A Chinese spy balloon that flew across the US was able to gather intelligence from several secret US military installations despite the Biden administration’s efforts to block it.

NBC News writes about this , citing two current US officials and one former presidential administration official.

China may have controlled the balloon to fly over certain locations several times (sometimes flying in a figure-of-eight formation) and deliver the collected information to Beijing in real time, officials said. The intelligence gathered by China was mainly based on electronic signals that could be received from weapons systems or include messages from base personnel, rather than images, officials said.

The three officials said China could have collected far more intelligence from sensitive sites were it not for the administration’s efforts to hide sites from the balloon’s ability to pick up their electronic signals by stopping them from broadcasting or emitting signals.

The downing of a Chinese balloon over the United States – what is known

As UNIAN reported earlier, on February 2, it became known for the first time that a Chinese spy balloon was flying over the United States , and that President Biden was considering shooting it down. As soon as the existence of the balloon became known, China increased its speed, according to officials, in an attempt to get the balloon out of US airspace as quickly as possible, writes NBC.

The US government said it was waiting to shoot down the balloon until it was over the ocean to avoid damage or casualties on the ground. “US military command has determined that shooting down a balloon above the ground poses an undue risk to people over a wide area due to the size and height of the balloon, as well as its payload,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a written statement after the balloon the ball was hit.

The US shot down the balloon on Feb. 4 off the coast of South Carolina, and officials are still analyzing the wreckage that was lifted.

After shooting down the balloon in February, Biden administration officials said he was capable of gathering signal intelligence.

The balloon first entered US airspace over Alaska on Jan. 28, according to the Biden administration. For the next four days, the balloon flew over Montana, specifically over Malmstrom Air Force Base, where the US stores some of its nuclear assets.

China has repeatedly claimed that the balloon was an unmanned civilian balloon that accidentally veered off course, and that the US overreacted by shooting it down.

The balloon had a self-destruct mechanism that could be remotely activated by China, but officials said it was not clear why this did not occur—either because the mechanism malfunctioned or because China chose not to launch it.

(C)UNIAN 2023


    • Yes, letting the spy balloon cross the entire United States before downing it was a scandal.

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