Posted BY: RM | NwoReport
- The Pentagon’s rejection of China’s claim the balloon is a ‘civilian’ airship raises questions about its surveillance capabilities
- Analysts predict the balloon is about the size of ‘three buses’ and could be fitted with high-tech equipment including cameras, sensors, and radar
- Defense analysts have previously claimed that a balloon could be used as a ‘delivery platform’ for nuclear weapons
The Pentagon‘s rejection of China‘s claim that a balloon detected floating over nuclear sites in the United States is a ‘civilian’ airship raises further questions about its surveillance capabilities.
Analysts predict the balloon is about the size of ‘three buses’ and could be fitted with high-tech equipment including cameras, sensors and radar.
Use of balloons to conduct spy missions dates back to the Cold War but modern-day systems can take advantage of the latest developments in surveillance technology.
The balloon was floating about 60,000ft above the center of the continental United States at midday ET on Friday, the Pentagon said. The balloon’s path had taken it over Montana, triggering fears it was gathering intelligence on nuclear missile sites in the state.
China claimed on Friday morning that it is a civilian balloon used for meteorological and weather research. But in a briefing at the Pentagon several hours later, Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said: ‘We know it’s a surveillance balloon.’
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Worryingly, defense analysts have previously claimed that a balloon could be used as a ‘delivery platform’ for nuclear weapons.
A 2015 report for the American Leadership & Policy Foundation said balloons launched by rogue states could carry nuclear payloads over the United States which could be used launch strikes or interfere with the electrical grid.
Report author Air Force Major David Stuckenberg wrote: ‘Using a balloon as a [weapon of mass destruction] platform could provide adversaries with a pallet of altitudes and payload options with which to maximize offensive effects against the U.S.