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F-22 is pictured heading to kill Chinese balloon as it's revealed U2 spy planes tracked the craft an


F-22 is pictured heading to kill Chinese balloon as it's revealed U2 spy planes tracked the craft and two more sites in Virginia and California were previously spied on... but Pentagon dismissed balloons as UFOs

    U-2S Dragon Lady spy planes were used to monitor the Chinese spy balloon, it emerged on Monday: the balloon was shot down by F-22 jets on Saturday
    The original U-2A first flew in August 1955: the Air Force now has 33 of them, which are able to fly above 70,000 feet, with a pilot in a special suit
    On Monday it was also reported that spy balloons have previously been seen over Norfolk, Virginia and Coronado, California: both home to military bases

By Harriet Alexander For

Published: 23:50 EST, 6 February 2023 | Updated: 02:54 EST, 7 February 2023

The first photos of the F-22 Raptor which shot down the spy balloon have been published - as it emerged the U.S. used U2 spy planes, first deployed during the Cold War, to monitor the Chinese balloon.

This comes as reports suggested that similar balloons were spotted previously in two more highly-sensitive military sites in Virginia and California, but the intelligence community classified them as UFOs.

The U-2S Dragon Lady spy planes were enlisted as part of last week's scramble to assess the balloon because they are able to fly at extremely high altitude.

The balloon was at 60,000ft, and U-2S routinely fly above 70,000ft: most fighter jets fly at an altitude between 45,000 and 51,000ft.

The U-2S was deployed both to observe the Chinese balloon from above, and to potentially block the transmission of any data which it was collecting.

It is not clear when the U-2S was deployed, or for which parts of the spy balloon's seven-day odyssey across the U.S.


Look at all those pictures!  It must be true.



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