Tags: army | blimps | baltimore | surveillance

Army Blimps to Deploy Over Baltimore for Radar Surveillance: Report

Image: Army Blimps to Deploy Over Baltimore for Radar Surveillance: Report
In this September 29, 2004 file photo, a blimp flies past the Washington Monument during a test flight over the nation's capital. (Shaun Heasley/Reuters/Landov)  

By    |   Friday, 19 Dec 2014 09:10 AM

Army blimps the size of football fields will soon be deployed in northeast Baltimore for three years, using radar to detect enemy missiles and other threats within a 340-mile radius.

The Intercept reported that JLENS — the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System — will go up next week, weather permitting, helping provide enhanced protection to an area the size of Texas that includes Washington D.C., New York City, and Boston.

"If you’re a commander, you want as much advance warning as possible," retired Army Brig. Gen. Keith McNamara said in reference to the project. "You need to know where those missiles came from as quickly as possible so you can neutralize that launcher and prevent it from firing again."

The blimps were built by Raytheon, and cost a combined $2.8 billion. That may sound like lot, however they can do the work of five spy planes with half the manpower, and cost 700 percent less, reported Business Insider.

Some critics of the blimps have said they will be highly visible from Interstate 95 as they hang 10,000 feet in the air. Because of their extraordinary surveillance position, some are also worried that the blimps will be used to spy on citizens.

"There’s something inherently suspect for the public to look up in the sky and see this surveillance device hanging there," said Ginger McCall, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. "It’s the definition of persistent surveillance."

Army officials have stated in response that the blimps are only equipped with radar, which can, for instance, track a car on the ground, but not make out the make or model of car. Officials have also said that there are no plans to equip the aerial vehicles with cameras.

JLENS "has no cameras, it has no video, nor is it tracking any people. It does not possess the capability to see people," said Maj. Beth Smith, the spokesperson for the JLENS program.

"For the purposes of this test, we have no intent to track any vehicles. Well, any civilian vehicles."

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
TheWire
Army blimps the size of football fields will soon be deployed in northeast Baltimore for three years, using radar to detect enemy missiles and other threats within a 340-mile radius.
army, blimps, baltimore, surveillance
343
2014-10-19
Friday, 19 Dec 2014 09:10 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved