Known as aerostats, these aircraft will hover 10,000 feet in the air above Army-owned land 45 miles northeast of Washington, D.C.. The blimp, though tethered to the ground, will have the ability to see airborne objects from up to 340 miles away and surface vehicles up to 140 miles away, giving them a view "as far south as Richmond, as far west as Cumberland, Md., and as far north as Staten Island," reports the Washington Post. Army officials say these objects will be in place for a three-year trial period of the ‘Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System’ (JLENS), with the stated goal of detecting cruise missiles or enemy aircraft. Yet, Army officials have refused to rule out equipping the aerostats with powerful cameras and infrared sensors, according to the Post.
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