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The Military

High-Tech Blimps Earning Their Wings 200

coondoggie writes "The US Army this week showed off its latest high-tech blimp laden with powerful radar systems capable of detecting incoming threats 340 miles away. The helium-filled blimps, or aerostats, are designed to hover over war zones or high-security areas and be on guard for incoming missiles or other threats. The Army wants them to reduce some of the need for manned and unmanned reconnaissance flights. The aerostat demonstrated this week is known as the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Sensor System (JLENS), which is designed to fly up to an altitude of 10,000 feet. According to, the $1.4 billion JLENS is a large, unpowered elevated sensor moored to the ground by a long cable. From its position above the battlefield, the elevated sensors will allow incoming cruise missiles to be detected, tracked, and engaged by surface-based air defense systems even before the targets can be seen by the systems."

It is easier to change the specification to fit the program than vice versa.