Spy Balloon

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    Context

    • A high-altitude balloon originating in China entered the United States airspace, causing diplomatic tensions. 
      • The balloon was successfully shot down by the U.S. Air Force.

    About

    • The USA alleged the balloon to be a surveillance device and accused China of  international airspace violation.
    • But the Chinese government claimed it was a civilian meteorological research airship blown off course by winds.

    Spy Balloon

    • Spy Balloons  were already being used for military purposes. During the French Revolutionary Wars in the late 18th century, balloons were used to provide a bird’s eye view of the battlefield, with there being documented evidence of their use in the Battle of Fleurus in 1794.
    • Before aircraft technology really took off during the Great War, balloons were the primary mode of big-picture reconnaissance, providing perspective on enemy positions and movements simply impossible to obtain from the ground.
    • Unlike satellites that watch from higher altitudes, spy balloons can watch from lower altitudes.
    • After World war II, the US military started exploring the use of high-altitude spy balloons, which led to a large-scale series of missions called Project Genet. 

     

    Tensions between the US and China

    • Nancy Pelosi Taiwan visit
    • Trade War
    • Semiconductor Industry
    • Covid-19 Pandemic
    • Technology Race
    • Emerging Superpower

    Source: The Hindu