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Analysis

JLENS: controversial spy blimp takes to the skies

On 27 December, the US Army’s newest aerial surveillance asset took to the skies over Maryland on the US East Coast. Talk to the army, and JLENS is a tethered aerostat that floats 10,000ft in the air carrying powerful radar systems to provide defensive radar coverage over an area roughly the size of Texas; talk to the sceptics, and JLENS is a giant ‘spy blimp’, being launched into the skies above Washington DC to the detriment of personal privacy. So – which is it? Claire Apthorp reports.

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