Barbara Mikulski

Despite runaway blimp, lawmakers stand behind troubled missile defense system

Despite runaway blimp, lawmakers stand behind troubled missile defense system

The Pentagon's glitch-prone, $2.7-billion system of radar-equipped blimps — designed to safeguard the nation's capital against cruise missiles and other airborne threats — has long been a source of frustration to military leaders. A month ago, it became a punch line.

One of the pilotless JLENS blimps broke loose from its mooring in Maryland on Oct. 28 and flew for 150 miles, disrupting civil aviation and damaging power lines with its mooring cable before coming to rest in rural Pennsylvania.

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