New video emerged Saturday afternoon showing close-up footage of the moment that the U.S. military shot a Chinese spy balloon out of the sky over the Atlantic Ocean.
A senior U.S. military official said that an F-22 Raptor took out the spy balloon with one air-to-air A9X sidewinder missile that was fired at an altitude of approximately 58,000 feet.
Officials waited until the balloon was several miles off the coast of South Carolina before taking the shot in an effort to avoid any damage that may occur from debris falling from the sky.
🚨#BREAKING: Incredible HD footage of the Chinese surveillance balloon being shot down
🚨#MyrtleBeach l #SC
Watch incredible HD video of the moment when the Chinese surveillance balloon was shot down by a single missile from an F-22 fighter jet from Langley Air Force Base pic.twitter.com/KjwTrgcvcb
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) February 4, 2023
Biden tried to take a victory lap over the weekend after the spy balloon was shot down, claiming that he “ordered the Pentagon to shoot it down on Wednesday as soon as possible,” but that the decision was made to not shoot it down over land because debris could cause damage when falling to the ground.
U.S. officials were reportedly “well aware” that the balloon had crossed into American airspace on January 28 and that it was over Idaho on Tuesday, but decided not to inform the public to not upend Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s diplomatic trip to China.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that the spy ballon was sent to the U.S. “in an attempt to surveil strategic sites in the continental United States.”
Biden faced intense scrutiny from top lawmakers who said that the spy balloon should have been shot down last month when it crossed over Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.
Related: China Responds To U.S. Military Shooting Down Spy Balloon