Radar blimp went rogue because auto-deflation system had no batteries.Last October, a Defense Department tethered radar blimp broke loose of its moorings near Baltimore and drifted across two states—taking out power lines as it dragged its tether cable behind it in a 13-hour, unguided flight.
The JLENS program, which uses two high-flying aerostats with radar domes (one a search radar system and the other a targeting radar to lock onto low-flying cruise missiles and other potential threats), has cost over $2.7 billion since the program began in 1998.
When it finally came down 160 miles north in Moreland Township, Pennsylvania, the Army had state police bring it down the rest of the way with approximately 100 shotgun blasts. [Ars Technica]
So, the cost of this foolishness is $2.7 billion dollars, plus the cost to repair various power lines and buy 100 shotgun shells. The number of cruise missiles that were fired at the US since 1998 (or, for that matter, that could have been fired) is zero. Still, this absurd boondoggle isn’t the worst use of stolen money. At least they didn’t use it to torture or murder anyone.