Friday, June 2, 2023

Balloon crisis highlights vulnerability of defense systems

Is it that the writers at HBO or Netflix don’t come up with things? no one has thought A series that begins with the most expensive fighter in the world (F-22, a machine costing 360 million dollars or 334 million euros each)Over the Arctic Ocean, only 2,000 kilometers in a straight line from the North Pole, in the middle of the polar night (in the region, at this time of year, daylight lasts only five hours), at an altitude of 12 kilometers, a gray , on a cylindrical thing, the size of a car, that may be a balloon – but it also may not be – and that, according to the account of F-35 pilot (F-‘s poor brother) 22, which is only 132 million dollars per unit), is it capable of interfacing with its flight equipment?

Is it not enough? WhatHow about we have an F-22 take down the “object” with an AIM-9 Sidewinder missile?, which takes its name from a species of rattlesnake from the New Mexico desert? the same sidewinder with Taiwan declares Chinese invasion dead The Kumoy from 1958, and with which in June 1982 Israel shot down 84 Syrian fighters without a single loss, only now it’s a more advanced version that goes for $439,000?

And so, the “thing” falls from a height of 12 kilometers onto the ice, that is, the frozen sea, near the Eskimo settlement of Kaktovik with 283 inhabitants, where until a few years ago the only source of income was working in the North Slope oil wells areas, 200 kilometers away, or for 16-metre, 100-tonne bowhead whaling by hand-thrown harpoons from motorboats, but where a tourist now pays $7,500 for three days To see polar bears, well, to eat whale carcasses.

With this we already have at least three episodes of the series, until the plot becomes confused when another American F-22, supported by F-35s from Canada, shoots down a strange octagonal object, this Above Bar Mayo, Canada 800 kilometers from Kakatovic, a town where 200 residents of the Na-cho Nyak Dun indigenous community live. Finally, a third object is shot down over Lake Huron, which forms the natural border between the US and Canada several thousand kilometers to the south and which, like everything else in this story, has elements that would be lost in a country like Spain. hard to understand. , , because it is a lake that fits together the states of Aragon, Navarra and La Rioja.

With all those details, it’s no wonder people are going nuts. It’s a soap opera, but real. Just two weeks ago, a balloon the size of three buses landed 18 km away. height over one of America’s largest missile bases, which led to its demolition a few days later. On Thursday, in addition, Washington acknowledged that it tried to shoot down the balloon in Montana as soon as it entered its airspace. but he couldn’t, because was flying too high to hit the F-22’s machine gun, This forced us to wait for the moment when the aerostat was no longer on the mainland, which allowed the use of anti-aircraft missiles, which, if they fail, pose a more serious threat to the population.

Now, the world’s biggest power is discovering that the Chinese are not spying with infiltrators, or with satellites, or with microprocessors, or even with the TikTok app, they say that the user’s typing patterns are also being read by the Chinese. reaches the army, so that Beijing recognizes, for example, who is looking for Shakira’s latest musical craze on their mobile phone., No, they spy with balloons. And America shot down one of them.

historical destruction

This is somewhat historical. It is the first time since fighting against Japan 81 years ago at the Pearl Harbor base in Hawaii that the United States has shot down a foreign aircraft – even a balloon – over its territory, which now once Then one seems to be on target of Chinese high altitude spy balloons. Actually, last Wednesday Washington Post reported that the large balloon that fell over the Atlantic Ocean on the 4th was actually going to Guam – another US island in the Pacific full of military installations and that would play a key role in the war against China – but that Got lost due to bad weather and crossed the United States from end to end,

Be that as it may, this explanation does not explain whether China, once it realized that the propellers moving the device would not be able to keep it on the proper course, decided, at least, on what Must spy it can happen. In any case, Beijing appears to have a very advanced aerodynamic espionage program, “Those Chinese reconnaissance balloons have passed over dozens of countries on multiple continents around the world, including many of our closest allies and partners,” Adm. John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council. According to Kirby, the US discovered that program only in 2021.

But What about the little globes of Alaska, Canada and Lake Huron? Last Monday, the Commander in Chief of the North American Air Command (NORAD), Gen. glenn vanherkdid not deny that they were clear and simple, ufo, It may sound crazy, but the fact is that the US Armed Forces have a huge program to analyze unexplained phenomena that could be caused by aliens, and which was partially declassified in 2021. As of 2017, he was the head of the program, which has a name as Little Anglo-Saxon Luis Elizondodeclared new York Times What “This is a low-cost strategy by China to annoy the United States”, In his opinion, “For China, doing this is a low-cost, high-impact system, and the more you look at the sky, the more you’re going to see.”

Waking up of a fighter next to the remains of the balloons-spy. Chad fish

unknown objects

So what could have been a spy series has been turned into a sitcom. On Thursday, US President Joe Biden said those three “objects” were not spy balloons. “Most likely, they were associated with private companies, recreational activities, or scientific institutions, and were dedicated to the study of climate or other scientific pursuits.” Biden said he had asked the intelligence community to analyze the situation in the country’s skies, where apparently there’s a fair amount of flying objects “Those not related to illegal activities but to investigations.”

That turn from drama to comedy has added another layer of surprise to the case. Are we facing a James Bond or Mortadello and Filemon style phenomenon? Doesn’t the United States know what flies over its territory, in that delicate strip of atmosphere that is not yet space and outer space, but has not always been considered national airspace, and whose legal status, curiously, March In being analyzed by the United Nations?

Washington’s response to the crisis would fail any public relations student: fragmented information, provided late and inaccurate, and constant improvisation. The Chinese were also not good. At first he denied that the large balloon flying over America was his: then he said yes, but it was for meteorological research; And he ended by saying that Washington has sent him ten of those devices in recent years. And so did other countries, who started talking about their experiences with these spy balloons.

Those are inadequate answers. If the three balloons – or whatever they are – belong to companies, universities or even associations of fans of launching high-altitude aerostats – which even exist -, they They should have sought permission from the authorities to launch them, In America, an aircraft cannot be easily kept 12 km above sea level, because it presents Many threats, starting with air traffic, continuing with those at the bottom of the toy (what happens if it falls on them?) and ending with national security. So the official explanation is, at best, incomplete.

all this has generated a chaos print, The US has even claimed that the three smaller balloons would not have been detected if not for the larger one. As a result of the incident, NORAD changed the configuration of its radars and reduced the size of the objects they could detect. Immediately new balloons began to appear. This is something that makes sense in principle.

North America’s defense systems are designed to withstand a massive nuclear attack with large, long-range missiles and bombers., Although some of these weapons are difficult to detect by radar, it is always helpful to identify the vibrations they generate or the temperature they reach.

This does not happen with smaller balloons. Are Small, It looks like they don’t have engines, so they are at air temperature. And they don’t vibrate. It also makes visual identification difficult for platforms like the F-22, which is designed to take on other fighters in an Armageddon between the great powers. In fact, the third downed balloon had been playing cat and mouse with the combatants for two days, for the simple reason that they could not see it.

real danger

which is the real danger of these balloons, whether they are large or small: they are Cheap, effective and useful systems for espionage, and very difficult to detect and take down, It’s the new war of the 21st century, with sensors, with drones, with artificial intelligence provided by companies—and, sometimes, directly managed by them—and with a stray drone that spends hours on a target. It could fly over a house, or launch onto a group of soldiers hiding in a ditch, or a truck stored in a garage, while it broadcasts all its findings over television to its operators.

The ballooning incident could be seen as more than absurd, the beginning of a new world Even US airspace isn’t safe, In a world in which military power is dictated more and more by microchips and less by tons of bombs, the balloons have demonstrated the vulnerability of the United States’ outdated defense systems, and of the entire world in general.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
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