Questions for Cecil--Chinese Balloon shootdowns

Why are we wasting missiles?
A quick burst of cannon fire would trash them as well, and be cheaper.

Would a cannon have the necessary range or accuracy?

What kind of cannon are you envisaging (and where is it located)? The balloon was both very large and very high up.


IIRC, it would be very tough. The Raptor would be blowing by the balloon at hundreds of miles per hour, the balloon was like 8,000 feet higher altitude, not at all good odds of scoring a cannon hit.

20 mm, mounted on an aircraft.

How long would it take for the Helium to leak out of 20mm holes? Remember, this is a Bus-sized balloon.

Don’t we have laser weapons that could pop these things?

That’s a cool application for a laser weapon, but they are currently all ship or ground-based, and won’t work well on an object 10 miles high…