Spy balloons are not new and have been in use since World War II. Just after the end of the war, the US military began exploring the use of high-altitude spy balloons, which led to a series of large-scale missions known as Project Genetics.
China’s spy balloon has become a topic of discussion these days. Different claims are being made about it. China may have called it a common balloon that takes weather information. But the United States does not rule out the possibility of surveillance. Amid all the accusations and counter-accusations, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken canceled his visit to China. At the same time, it was claimed that another surveillance balloon from China is passing over Latin America. The news of the passage of the Chinese surveillance balloon over Latin America comes a day after the Pentagon reported a sighting of a Chinese surveillance balloon flying inside US territory in Montana. In such a situation, please let us know what is a spy balloon, which has also been used during the World War.
What are spy balloons?
High altitude balloons are similar to weather balloons deployed around the world to monitor changes in an area’s local weather. However, when it comes to spy balloons, their purpose has changed. These balloons are capable of flying between 24,000 and 37,000 meters above the ground. The altitude at which these balloons fly is well above what commercial air traffic flies. Planes almost never fly above 40,000 feet. Fighter jets don’t normally operate above 65,000 feet, although spy planes like the U-2 have a service ceiling of 80,000 feet or higher. According to a 2009 report from the US Air Force Air Command and Staff College, advantages of balloons over satellites include the ability to scan large areas of territory at close range and being able to spend more time over the target area.
It was also used in the World War.
Spy balloons are not new and have been in use since World War II. Just after the end of the war, the US military began exploring the use of high-altitude spy balloons, which led to a series of large-scale missions known as Project Genetics. According to government documents, the project flew photographic balloons over the Soviet bloc area in the 1950s. By this time, the United States had launched hundreds of balloons to collect intelligence from Russia and China. However, since the advent of drones and unmanned satellites, their use has declined. During World War II, the Japanese military tried to drop firebombs over American soil using balloons designed to float in jet air currents. Although it did not damage military targets, it did cause civilian casualties.
why not shoot
The United States has cited security concerns for shooting down a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon. An American expert said that in view of the common man’s safety, it has been decided not to destroy the Chinese balloon yet. William Kim, a surveillance balloon expert at the Marathon Initiative think tank in Washington, also called it a “real possibility” that a Chinese balloon could be intent on collecting data from outside US borders. However, Kim said: “These balloons use helium… It’s not the Hindenburg, you can’t shoot it and then it catches fire.” The aircraft accident occurred. The aircraft used hydrogen gas which burned in about 90 seconds.