Canada shoots down ‘unidentified object’ in airspace

This photo provided by the U.S. Air Force shows a U.S. Air Force pilot taking off in an F-22 Raptor at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023. At the direction of President Joe Biden, military aircraft were brought down a high-altitude surveillance balloon off the coast of South Carolina. (Airman 1st Class Mikaela Smith/US Air Force via AP)

The news comes amid a week of “spy balloon” incidents (Image: AP)

Canada has shot down an “unidentified object” that violated its airspace.

The armed forces will recover and analyze the wreckage, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

The object was shot down by US and Canadian jets.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he had ordered a US warplane to shoot down the object, which was “flying high over northern Canada”.

Shortly before Mr. Trudeau’s tweet, the North American Aerospace Defense Command said it had spotted an object flying at high altitude over Canada.

He tweeted: “I have ordered the downing of an unidentified object that violated Canadian airspace.

“@NORADCommand shot down the object over the Yukon. Canadian and US aircraft were confused and a US F-22 fired successfully at the object.”

The object was the third known to have violated North American airspace in the past two weeks.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Image: Canadian Press/Shutterstock)

In a second tweet, Mr. Trudeau said: “I spoke to President Biden this afternoon. Canadian forces will now recover and analyze the debris from the object. Many thanks to Norad for keeping watch over North America.”

On Friday, The US blast shot down another object over its airspace less than a week after a Chinese spy balloon was shot down.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said: “The object was flying at an altitude of 40,000 feet and posed a reasonable threat to the safety of civilian flight.

“Out of great caution and at the recommendation of the Pentagon, President Biden ordered the military to strike the object and they did and it entered our territorial waters and those waters are currently frozen.”

Large pieces of debris from the shot down suspected Chinese surveillance were recovered by the US Navy off the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. In these newly released photos, members of the US Fleet Forces Command can be seen hauling parts of the wreck into a boat. It comes after the balloon was shot out of the sky on Saturday (February 4) after being tracked over US waters. Sailors recovering the debris on Sunday were part of the Navy's explosives specialist team. The rubble is now being examined to determine whether it is actually espionage equipment. Divers were also working to locate parts of the balloon's sunken payload, which is estimated to be about the size of three buses. The Chinese Foreign Ministry claims the balloon was a civilian airship used for weather research and went off course. Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said China regrets the balloon's entry into US airspace due to the westerly winds and limited self-piloting ability. February 08, 2023 Pictured: Sailors assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2 recover a high-altitude surveillance balloon off the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in photos released February 7, 2023. Photo credit: US Navy/ MEGA +1.888.505.6342

Large pieces of debris from the downed suspected Chinese surveillance was recovered by the US Navy off the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (Image: US Navy/ MEGA)

It was “about the size of a small car,” Kirby said.

For comparison, the spy balloon that the US shot down on Saturday was the size of several buses.

The suspected Chinese spy balloon that was shot down had several antennas and solar panels capable of gathering information, according to the US.

The balloon, which was shot down by the US last Saturday, also had solar panels large enough to “power multiple active sensors to gather information.”

Mandatory Credit: Photo by EyePress News/Shutterstock (13756978a) The suspected Chinese spy balloon drifts towards the ocean after being shot down by a single missile from a Langley Air Force F-22 fighter jet off the coast of Surfside Beach, South Carolina, USA Base on Saturday, February 4, 2023. The Chinese surveillance balloon has traveled thousands of kilometers over open seas and the United States for four long days. An F-22 jet fighter engaged the high-altitude balloon with a missile -- an AIM-9X Sidewinder -- and it crashed about six nautical miles off the US coast at 14:39 EST (19:39 GMT), a defense official told reporters. Three airports were closed and airspace off the coast of North and South Carolina closed as the military conducted the operation on Saturday. The military are now trying to recover debris that is spread over 11 km. Two naval vessels, including one with a heavy recovery crane, are in the area. Suspected Chinese spy balloon shot down by US fighter jet, South Carolina, USA - February 04, 2023

China claimed the ‘spy balloon’ was a weather system (Image: EyePress News/Shutterstock)

In addition, the official said the equipment inside “does not match” what is found inside a weather balloon – what China has claimed.

The country’s foreign ministry claimed that the “airship” had limited piloting capabilities and “deviated widely from its intended course” after going off course.

“It is a civil airship used for research purposes, mainly meteorological purposes,” the spokesman said.

“Influenced by the westerly winds and with reduced self-piloting ability, the airship has deviated far from its intended course. The Chinese side regrets the accidental intrusion of the airship into US airspace due to force majeure.

“The Chinese side will continue to communicate with the US side to adequately deal with this unexpected situation caused by force majeure.”

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Justin Scaccy

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