Pentagon confirms US jet shot high-altitude object over Alaska

A high-altitude object was brought down over Alaska using an AIM-9X Sidewinder missile RTX.N fired from an F-22 jet, the US Defense Department said on Friday.

The object, the size of a small car and which did not appear to be maneuverable, entered US airspace on Thursday, Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder said at a press conference.

Quoted by Reuters, Ryder added that the object was traveling in a northeasterly direction at an altitude of 12,190 meters when it was shot down and was a potential threat to civilian air traffic.

He said the origin of the object was not known.

The incident comes nearly a week after the US on Feb. 4 shot down off the coast of South Carolina a Chinese high-altitude surveillance balloon that transited the United States.

US officials have been recovering the debris from the 200-foot-tall (60-meter-high) balloon and its undercarriage of electronic gadgetry.