Billion-Dollar Creepy Spy Blimp Will Soon Hover Over Maryland

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Photo: Stocktrek Images/Corbis

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a billion-dollar surveillance blimp that will be able to watch everything that happens from North Carolina to Boston. Well, crap.

The Intercept reports that JLENS, or “Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System,” is an 18-year-long, multi-billion-dollar Army project that will soon reach its pinnacle when the 80-yard-long blimps are hoisted into the air off of Interstate 95. Way to be subtle, guys.

Built to defend against cruise-missile attacks, the tethered blimps will also be able to track “cars, trucks and boats hundreds of miles away.” Writes The Intercept:

Built by the Raytheon Company, the JLENS blimps operate as a pair. One provides omnipresent high-resolution 360-degree radar coverage up to 340 miles in any direction; the other can focus on specific threats and provide targeting information.

Makes you kind of miss the Goodyear blimp.