US military shot down an unidentified ‘high-altitude airborne object’ spotted over Canada, Trudeau says [Updated]
It's the third air-to-air kill for an F-22 in eight days.
One day after the U.S. Air Force shot down a “high-altitude object” over Alaska, an American F-22 took out a similar object in the skies above Canada.
“I ordered the take down of an unidentified object that violated Canadian airspace.
@NORADCommand shot down the object over the Yukon. Canadian and U.S. aircraft were scrambled, and a U.S. F-22 successfully fired at the object,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a tweet.
NORAD is a joint American-Canadian organization, and as the object was flying over Canadian airspace, Trudeau had authority to give the order.
Trudeau followed up by saying he had spoken with President Joe Biden before giving the order, and that Canadian armed forces will recover and study the remains of the object.
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Trudeau’s announcement comes roughly an hour after the North American Aerospace Defense Command or NORAD announced it had spotted a “high-altitude airborne object.”
“Military aircraft are currently operating from Alaska and Canada in support of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) activities,” a NORAD spokesperson said in a statement to Task & Purpose. “NORAD confirms that we have positively identified a high-altitude airborne object over Northern Canada.”
NORAD first spotted the object Friday flying over Alaska, Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a statement today. A pair of F-22s from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson tracked it on Friday, joined by Canadian CF-18 and CP-140 aircraft after it crossed into Canadian airspace. The object was shot down using an AIM 9X missile, Ryder said.
“As Canadian authorities conduct recovery operations to help our countries learn more about the object, the Federal Bureau of Investigation will be working closely with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police,” he added.
No other information on the object was released.
Today’s events mark the third air-to-air kill by an American F-22 in eight days. Yesterday, a fighter shot down an object in northern Alaska. United States Northern Command said in a release today that recovery operations are ongoing near Deadhorse, Alaska. Northern Command as well as the Alaska National Guard are working with local law enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigations on recovering pieces of the object that are on sea ice. Yesterday, Ryder said the object was “the size of a small car.” The Department of Defense has not shared any additional details.
This also comes a week after a F-22 shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina. The military is also continuing its efforts to retrieve the remains of the balloon from the sea.
UPDATE: 02/11/2023; this story was updated on Feb. 11 to include comments from Air Force Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder on the incident.
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