US ships have formed a perimeter off the coast of South Carolina where the Chinese spy balloon was shot down as a salvage vessel won’t be at the scene for days.
US officials confirmed that an F-22 Raptor fighter jet took down the balloon with a single AIM-9X sidewinder missile at 2.38pm on Saturday, off the coast of Myrtle beach.
Audio from one of the two deployed jets, using the callsigns FRANK01 and FRANK02, reveals the moment the pilots confirmed the hit, telling the Eastern Air Defense Sector: ‘The balloon is completely destroyed.’
A senior military advisor told Fox News that the debris field was about seven-miles wide, with the depth of the waters estimated at 47 feet.
While multiple Navy and Coast Guard vessels are in the area establishing a security and search perimeter, the senior advisor said an official salvage vessel won’t arrive until a couple of days.
There is currently no timeline on the recovery of the balloon from the Atlantic Ocean after its presence shocked the nation while it hovered over several nuclear silos before going down.