The US Navy releases the first photos of the Chinese airship’s recovery

Using drones, warships and boats, the US Navy is carrying out an extensive operation to collect all the pieces of the huge Chinese airship that was shot down by a US fighter plane off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday.

In the latest photos released by the Navy on Tuesday, sailors are seen pulling parts from the airship.

The commander of US Northern Command, Gen. Glenn Vanherk, said Monday that teams are taking precautions to protect against the possibility that any part of the airship may contain explosives.

The blimp was 60 meters long and carried a long sensor suite underneath, which Vanherck estimated was about the size of a small regional jet.

The Navy is also using ships to map the seafloor and scan all remaining parts of the airship, so that American analysts can get a full picture of the types of sensors the Chinese are using and understand how the balloon is able to maneuver.

Vanherk said the wreckage is scattered in water about 50 feet (15 meters) deep, but stretches across an area 15 football fields long and as wide.

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