The US military recovered the electronic mechanism and key sensors — believed to be used for intelligence gathering — from the Chinese spy balloon shot down earlier this month, officials announced Monday.
“Crews have been able to recover significant debris from the site, including all of the priority sensor and electronics pieces identified as well as large sections of the structure,” the US military’s Northern Command said in a statement.
The giant balloon — which Beijing denied was a government device used for surveillance — was taken out by a US fighter jet off South Carolina’s coast on Feb. 4 after it hovered over the country for a week.
The parts were recovered from the ocean by Navy personnel in the days after.
Members of the FBI’s evidence response team have since been studying the remnants to assess how extensive its surveillance capabilities were, but didn’t have access to the majority of the balloon’s “payload” — its onboard electronics. The military now has possession of the critical electronics.
The discovery of the Chinese spy balloon led US officials to be on high alert for other potential foreign intelligence-gathering devices flying in US airways that were not detected by radar.
US military officials located and shot down three objects in just as many days over the weekend in an unprecedented move.
Federal authorities said little is known about the latest three objects, including how they stay aloft, where they are coming from and if they were also being used to spy on the US.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the objects were never a military threat to people on the ground, but were shot down because they could have been a risk to civil aviation and “potentially an intelligence collection threat.”
Austin added that US military teams have not yet recovered debris from the three objects shot down — which were significantly smaller than the Chinese spy balloon.
US officials have not said whether the three objects are connected to one another or believed to be coming from one source.
With Post wires
The post US military recovers electronic sensors from downed Chinese spy balloon appeared first on New York Post.