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CompetitiveYou2034 t1_j78jst4 wrote

[Moot response, written after balloon is popped over the Atlantic ocean.]

> The balloon is carrying 1,000 lbs of equipment ....

The capture planes were cargo aircraft that carry many tons. 1,000 lbs would not be a problem, dragged by a wire behind a heavy lifter.

Unfortunately for today's events, those capture planes are in a bone graveyard or sold for scrap. Worse, the pilots trained in such maneuvers are long retired or gone.

If it was deemed needed, the Air Force could easily recreate the 1960s air skyhook capability.

My predictions are:

-- the Chinese will not be brazen enough to repeat the spy balloon anytime soon. Therefore. no need to recreate skyhook.

-- if they do send another, the US will shoot it down in Alaska or over the Pacific ocean as it enters US adiz.


ares5404 t1_j78y8kb wrote

Have drone models of current fighters, programmed with auto-targeting of these things, preferably they will have found something smaller that is capable of refuel with the main fighter and fly in formation with other roles