Two US Air Force F-22 fighter jets on Saturday shot down the Chinese spy balloon that had floated clear across Americaâ€™s airspace â€” eight days and more than 4,000 miles after it first breached the US border. â€œI want to compliment our aviators who did it,â€ President Biden told reporters as he cheered the downing en route to Camp David.
The two planes, both based at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Vir., circled the surveillance craft as it neared the coast of South Carolina, while the Federal Aviation Administration shut down three airports in North and South Carolina and closed the airspace over Charleston, Myrtle Beach and Wilmington due to â€œnational security initiatives.â€
Once the balloon had floated a safe distance into the Atlantic, one of the F-22s took aim with a single AIM-9X missile, a senior military source said.
The supersonic, heat-seeking, air-to-air projectile hit its mark at 2:39 p.m. about 7 miles off the shore of Myrtle Beach. Posted by PSmooth