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Tally One! F-22 Scores First Air-To-Air "Kill" Against a.. Balloon

On Feb. 4, a USAF F-22 shot down & scored its first air-to-air "kill" when it shot down the Chinese spy balloon that made headlines for several days. The F-22, based at Joint Base Langley-Eustice and part of the 1st Fighter Wing, departed the base and climbed up to FL580 over the coast of South Carolina. The Raptor fired a single AIM-9X Sidewinder missile at the balloon, successfully popping it. The balloon fell into the Atlantic ocean, roughly 6 miles off the coast & into ~50 feet of water. No injuries were reported (except for the balloon.) The balloon was scooped out of the ocean by the Navy/Coast Guard and has been taken to be examined further. This isn't the first time a Chinese balloon has been spotted over U.S. airspace; a similar instance occurred at least 3 times during the previous presidency.

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