Pentagon Suspends Missile Defense Program after Blimp Escapes

Pentagon Suspends Missile Defense Program After Blimp Escapes

The military has indefinitely suspended the JLENS program one week after one of the blimps broke free, spreading chaos with it as it went.

The Pentagon announced it has indefinitely suspended the program that operated the military JLENS blimps until after the completion of a lengthy investigation into how one of the blimps got loose in Maryland and drifted over 150 miles into Pennsylvania. One of the blimps cables dragged behind it, tearing down power lines and leaving hundreds of people without electricity.

The blimps of Maryland were only in a testing phase and use high-powered radar designed to help detect low-flying missile threats.

While Congress believes in the missile protection radar program, the members also believe that suspending JLENS is the right call, CBS Baltimore reported.  

"It is an irony that we have a system designed to protect us from an attack and yet it could also hurt some of our citizens," Maryland Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger said. "So let's see what the investigation reveals, but at this time, in my opinion and if I have anything to do with it, the program will not go forward."

Many Republicans have supported the program, which so far has cost $2.7 billion. It's unclear how long the investigation into the accident will last. The military has only said its investigation will be complete and thorough.

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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