The Army’s Giant Spy Blimp Is Coming To The Washington Area

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A radar and weapons detection system currently employed in Afghanistan and largely designed for naval fleets is coming to the Washington D.C. area.

The Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile defence Elevated Netted Sensor System, nicknamed JLENS for people with things to do, is a blimp that is tethered to a cord and floated above a vulnerable area.

Sensors attached to the blimp are able to detect anything from cruise missiles and rockets to approaching tanks from hundreds of miles away.

The Army, in conjunction with U.S. Northern Command, will be conducting tests with the JLENS at Aberdeen Proving ground in Maryland. They are reportedly experimenting with affordable domestic missile shield technology.

JLENS can reach an altitude of 10,000 feet and stay aloft for 30 days at a stretch, and its 360 degree sensor package can scan the air, land, and sea for up to 340 miles, according to DefenseNews.

The system is produced by Raytheon.

This YouTube video does a great job explaining how it works:

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