April 24, 2024

A senior U.S. defense official gave more details about the takedown, stating the balloon was hit at approximately 2:39 p.m. by a single F-22 fighter jet firing a single AIM-9X air-to-air missile.

“Fighter aircraft from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia fired a single missile into the balloon, causing it to crash into the ocean,” the official said.

The defense official said there was value in waiting to shoot down the balloon aside from just the safety of people on the ground, and indicated it had intelligence value to the U.S.

“The surveillance balloon’s overflight of U.S. territory was of intelligence value to us. I can’t go into more detail, but we were able to study and scrutinize the balloon and its equipment, which has been valuable,” the official said.

-ABC News’ Matt Seyler

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