Following careful analyses India has confirmed that the American manufactured “commercial balloons” were not equipped with sensors, cameras, explosive materials, or any other suspicious objects, the Times of India reported on January 27. However, information suggests it may have been used to probe India’s anti-aircraft defence capabilities.
Military action against aircrafts, helicopters, UAVs and other such objects is a standard/typical military operation as they are often sent into enemy territory to probe defence capabilities or test response time.
Rather interestingly, this 3-meter long helium filled balloon had the phrase “Happy Birthday” written on it.
Reports reveal that on January 26 at around approximately 10 am the Sukhoi-30MKI fighter aircraft shot down the balloon when it was flying at an altitude of 7.9 km. Since January 26 was Republic Day, India was already maintaining a heightened level of security across the country. In the interest of being cautious, the IAF Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jet shot the balloon 97 times to ensure it was destroyed.
According to reports, India’s Defense Ministry treated this “episode” extremely seriously, especially because the balloon’s flight altitude exceeded that of a helicopter. Furthermore, India’s Foreign Ministry will discuss this matter with Pakistan.