(TORONTO) — A high-altitude object tracked over northern Canada has been shot down over the Yukon, officials said.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he ordered the takedown of “an unidentified object that violated Canadian airspace.”
“Canadian and U.S. aircraft were scrambled, and a U.S. F-22 successfully fired at the object,” he tweeted.
Canadian Forces will now recover and analyze the wreckage, Trudeau said.
The object was shot down approximately 100 miles from the Canada-U.S. border in central Yukon, Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand told reporters during a press briefing Saturday night. It appears to have been a “small, cylindrical object” that was flying at about 40,000 feet, she said.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command detected the high-altitude object over Alaska late Friday evening, according to Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder. Two U.S. F-22 aircraft monitored the object over Alaska, then Canadian aircraft joined as it crossed into Canadian airspace, he said.
Following a call from Trudeau to President Joe Biden on Saturday, Biden authorized that U.S. aircraft take down the new high-altitude object and a U.S. F-22 shot it down with a sidewinder missile, Ryder said.
The leaders authorized that the “unidentified, unmanned object” be taken down “out of an abundance of caution and at the recommendation of their militaries,” according to a White House readout of the call. They also stressed the importance of recovering the object to determine its purpose or origin, the readout stated.
“As Canadian authorities conduct recovery operations to help our countries learn more about the object, the Federal Bureau of Investigation will be working closely with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police,” Ryder said in a statement.
The development comes a day after the White House said an unknown “high-altitude object” was shot down over the waters off Alaska.
That object was about the size of a small car and flying at around 40,000 feet, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said Friday. U.S. Northern Command said Saturday it had no further details on the object’s “capabilities, purpose or origin.”
“These objects did not closely resemble and were much smaller than the PRC balloon and we will not definitively characterize them until we can recover the debris, which we are working on,” a spokesperson for the NSC told ABC News on Sunday.
Trudeau said he supported the “decision to take action.”
“Our military and intelligence services will always work together, including through @NORADCommand, to keep people safe,” he tweeted Friday.
NORAD confirmed on Saturday that there was a temporary space restriction over Montana.
The airspace was closed due to an object “to ensure the safety of air traffic in the area during NORAD operations. The restriction has been lifted,” the statement read.
“NORAD detected a radar anomaly and sent fighter aircraft to investigate. Those aircraft did not identify any object to correlate to the radar hits. NORAD will continue to monitor the situation,” the statement continued.
Montana Sen. Steve Daines said he was in contact with the Pentagon regarding the object in the airspace and receiving frequent updates.
“Montanans still have questions about the Chinese spy balloon that flew over our state last week. I’ll continue to demand answers on these invasions of US airspace,” he tweeted.
NORAD and the FAA temporarily closed a section of airspace over Lake Michigan on Sunday afternoon “to ensure the safety of air traffic in the area during NORAD operations,” according to both organizations. The air restriction has since been lifted.
NORAD did not immediately reply to questions on the nature of those operations, such as whether fighters were sent up to investigate a radar anomaly, as happened over Montana on Saturday.
“The FAA briefly closed some airspace over Lake Michigan to support Department of Defense activities,” the FAA said in a statement Sunday. “The airspace has been reopened.”
The U.S. also shot down a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon off the coast of South Carolina on Feb. 4, after tracking it across the continental U.S. for several days.
U.S. officials said Friday that the undercarriage of the Chinese balloon — where the surveillance equipment and other technology was housed — had been located.
In the wake of the incident, the U.S. Commerce Department said Friday it added six Chinese entities to their Entity List for “supporting the PRC’s military modernization efforts, specifically those related to aerospace programs, including airships and balloons and related materials and components, that are used by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) for intelligence and reconnaissance,” according to a press release.
By adding these companies to the list, the U.S. can block them from “obtaining U.S. items and technologies without U.S. government authorization.”
The move is aimed at sending a “clear message to companies, governments, and other stakeholders globally that the entities on the list present a threat to national security,” the release said.
ABC News’ Luis Martinez and Molly Nagle contributed to this report.
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