What can $2 billion get you these days? Not much if you are a defense company, as one of Pentagon’s spy blimps known as JLENS (Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor) from Raytheon has finally managed to successfully detect as well as track an anti-ship cruise missile, followed by the Navy blasting said cruise missile out of the sky successfully. This might sound like a success, but it is a marginal one,
In the test, the blimps managed to detect the test missile, where the Navy purposefully shot off a Standard Missile-6 interceptor after that, managing to bring the incoming missile under control. Mark Rose, Raytheon’s program director, said, “It was a very successful intercept, and I’m pleased to say lots of pieces of the target scattered over the desert.”
These blimps have seen drastic budget cuts over the years, but in theory they are sound – specially designed to float in the air while boating a sensor range of approximately 342 miles, remaining on guard for longer periods of time, while consuming far less fuel and manpower. The thing is, what was originally meant to be 14 blimps has been cut to two, and the prognosis for this project does not look good in the long run. Talk about burning money literally!