The U.S. Military Just Wasted $2.7B On A Blimp That Crashed In A Day
News| | By Jason Owen
Perhaps you saw the news story floating about yesterday of a (very expensive) military blimp in Maryland that escaped its tethers and was essentially lost (or freed, depending on your perspective).
Well, that story literally came to a crashing halt Thursday when this (latest) government waste boondoggle deflated and crashed in rural Pennsylvania. The JLENS blimp, designed to detect and thwart threats against America, untethered in Aberdeen, Maryland, on Wednesday leaving officials no way of securing the (figuratively and monetarily) bulbous aircraft, which then began to float aimlessly north. On Thursday, as the helium dissipated, the blimp descended and crashed to the ground near Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. Watch the video below (fast forward to the 5:40 mark). The blimp cost roughly $2.7 billion of taxpayer money. No, not quite as much as the $1.5 trillion F-35 jet prototype that can’t fly, but we disgress… Now, maybe you’re thinking, “Well, we should invest in our security, so this is worth it.” Well, a 2012 report from the Pentagon itself gave the JLENS staggeringly low operational marks. Raytheon, the manufacturer of this latest instance of our grossly over-inflated military budget, claimed the blimp could stay afloat for 30 days, even if it “had more holes than a hunk of swiss cheese.” Well, we know now they were off by roughly 28 ½ days. Raytheon also claimed the Vectran tether securing the blimp had a “very small” chance of breaking. Oops, strike two Raytheon! The Pentagon also concluded in its report the JLENS struggled to find and track targets, as well as “distinguish friendly aircraft from real threats,” the Los Angeles Times reported. Great, so it would have shot down passenger aircraft. That would have gone over well! Keep up the good work, military industrial complex! Now, let us never complain about helping poor people in need again.