As information received from a US official, a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon shot down this week was capable of collecting communications signals. It was outfitted with multiple antennas capable of “intelligence collection operations,” according to a senior State Department official briefed on the situation.
On Thursday, lawmakers in the United States passed a nonbinding resolution condemning China for the balloon. China has denied that the balloon was used for spying. According to reports, the balloon was a weather device that had gone awry. On the other hand, the US believes the balloon is part of a more extensive fleet of surveillance balloons that has traveled across five continents.
The balloon was dubbed “a brazen violation of US sovereignty” by lawmakers in the House of Representatives, who condemned its use 419 to 0 on Thursday morning. Its appearance in US airspace sparked a diplomatic crisis, prompting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to cancel a trip to China. It was the first high-level meeting between the US and China in many years. Over the weekend. The US military shot down the balloon over the Atlantic Ocean with a fighter jet.
According to a senior State Department official, a high-resolution image revealed that the balloon, which stood about 200 feet tall, had large solar panels capable of powering “multiple active intelligence collection sensors” and antennas capable of collecting and geo-locating communications.
Dr. Falco is concerned about the balloon’s large solar panels and ability to hover for extended periods over US airspace. “They have a powerful system capable of handling large amounts of data relay.”
The FBI stated that its lab is assisting in processing debris, which has so far included parts of the balloon canopy, wires, and electronic components collected from the sea’s surface. Officials warn that processing the wreckage could take a long time, which could be exacerbated by inclement weather.
US intelligence, military, and foreign policy officials briefed members of Congress on the balloon on Thursday. The hearings come as his political opponents criticize the Biden administration’s handling of the incident.
At a news conference on Wednesday, Defense Department spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder confirmed. The United States believed familiar balloons were operated from North and South America, South East Asia, East Asia, and Europe.