UDATE: Three USAF planes circling near suspected Chinese surveillance balloon over Montana

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Three USAF Stratotanker aircraft have been spotted circling near a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that has been hovering over Montana.

Friday, February 3 at 00:57am

Three US Air Force aircraft thought to be Stratotankers have reportedly been spotted circling near the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that is hovering over the city of Billings in the state of Montana.

Malmstrom Air Force Base in Cascade County, Montana, is the location of one of America’s three nuclear missile silo fields.

The US State Department has reportedly summoned the Chinese charge d’affaires in Washington to deliver a ‘very clear and stark message’ to the Chinese government, according to UpwardNewsHQ.

Friday, February 3 at 00:01am

According to CNN this evening, Thursday, January 2, the Pentagon is tracking a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon. The high-altitude object has reportedly been travelling above the northern US state of Montana for the last few days.

ABC News reported that the balloon was estimated to be about the size of 3 buses and included a technology bay, according to BNO News Live.

Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, a spokesperson for the Pentagon, said: “The balloon is currently travelling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic and does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground”. Shooting the balloon down has reportedly been ruled out by the US military.

“We are confident that this high-altitude surveillance balloon belongs to the People’s Republic of China. Instances of this activity have been observed over the past several years, including prior to this administration”, the official explained.

Ryder also confirmed that government officials had engaged in dialogue with the Chinese via the US diplomatic mission in China and the Chinese embassy in Washington.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com