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Third high altitude object pops up over the United States

Illustration: Photo of the first high-altitude balloon that entered US airspace and was subsequently downed earlier this month.

The US military has detected another high altitude object over Northern Canada, the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) confirmed on February 11.

According to the command, military aircraft are currently operating from Alaska and Canada tracking and identifying the object.

“While we cannot discuss specifics related to these activities at this time, please note that NORAD conducts sustained, dispersed operations in the defense of North America through one or all three NORAD regions. NORAD is a United States and Canada bi-national organization charged with the missions of aerospace warning, aerospace control and maritime warning for North America,” a statement issued by the command said.

While the release is scant on details, it does indicate a trend of foreign intelligence assets operating over Canadian and US airspace recently.

According to Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau, the object was taken down by an F-22, in what is the third air-to-kill for the F-22 this month. It is worth noting that the bringing down of these objects represents the first operational engagements for the F-22 since it entered service.

“I ordered the take down of an unidentified object that violated Canadian airspace.
NORAD shot down the object over the Yukon. Canadian and US aircraft were scrambled, and a US F-22 successfully fired at the object,” Trudeau said.

“I spoke with president Biden this afternoon. Canadian Forces will now recover and analyze the wreckage of the object. Thank you to NORAD for keeping the watch over North America,” Canada’s prime minister added.

The confirmation of what is likely the third such event this month comes after the US Air Force downed two high-altitude objects over the US on February 4 and February 10.

The first shoot down saw an F-22 down a Chinese high altitude balloon off the coast of South Carolina with an AIM-9X missile. The same fighter used the same missile to bring down another object off the Northern coast of Alaska this week, but the Pentagon is yet to confirm the origin of the second object.

NORAD did not specify the flight path of the third object.