Runaway blimp prompts the US to freeze a missile defense program

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Runaway blimp prompts the US to freeze a missile defense program

That US Army radar blimp that ran amok didn't just trigger an internet frenzy... it may have put the brakes on a big military research initiative. Pentagon officials have frozen the JLENS (Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System) program behind the blimp while they investigate what went wrong. The government isn't saying what it might do, but there are already politicians calling for the blimps to be cut. JLENS had already been hanging by a thread ever since 2010, when the Army threatened to kill it -- there are longstanding concerns about both the technology's reliability and its effectiveness compared to conventional aircraft. Don't be surprised if these defensive dirigibles vanish in short order.

[Image credit: U.S. Air Force/Tiffany DeNault via Getty Images]

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