US military completes recovery of Chinese balloon, now analysing its ‘guts’ - GulfToday

US military completes recovery of Chinese balloon, now analysing its ‘guts’


A US Navy sailor conducts a search for debris with an underwater vehicle. File/AP

The United States said on Friday it had successfully concluded recovery efforts off South Carolina to collect sensors and other debris from a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon shot down by a US fighter jet on Feb. 4, and investigators are now analyzing its "guts."

The last of the debris from the Chinese balloon, which was downed by a Sidewinder missile, is heading to an FBI laboratory in Virginia for analysis, the US military's Northern Command said in a statement.


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Reuters was first to report the conclusion of the recovery efforts, which were halted on Thursday.

"It's a significant amount (of recovered material), including the payload structure as well as some of the electronics and the optics, and all that's now at the FBI laboratory in Quantico," said National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby.

US sailors recover a high-altitude surveillance balloon off the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. File/AP

Kirby said the United States had already learned a lot about the balloon by observing it as it flew over the United States.

"We're going to learn even more, we believe, by getting a look at the guts inside it and seeing how it worked and what it was capable of," he told a White House news briefing.

The US military said Navy and Coast Guard vessels that had been scouring the sea for nearly two weeks have departed the area.

"Air and maritime safety perimeters have been lifted," Northern Command said in a statement.





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