An enormous, 240-foot-long, state-of-the-art United States military blimp has broken loose from its moorings at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland and is now floating northeast, towards Pennsylvania.
More from Defense One:
The Air Force has scrambled two F-16s from the Atlantic City Air National Guard base to track the blimp, which officials say is holding at 16,000 feet. The blimp broke free at 12:20 eastern time. “NORAD officials are working closely with the FAA to ensure air traffic safety, as well as with our other interagency partners to address the safe recovery of the aerostat,” NORAD said in a statement.
The aircraft is part of a Pentagon planto create a net to hunt enemy drones and cruise missiles along the Eastern seaboard of the United States. The Pentagon has spent $2.55 billion on the program.
For more on the dirigible, otherwise known as JLENS (Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System), click here.
BREAKING: State police: Military blimp that broke loose, drifted over Pennsylvania is on ground, secure.
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 28, 2015
But not before it caused some significant destruction. According to a report, more than 20,000 people in the Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania area are without power.
— Fisher P Creasy (@FPCreasy) October 28, 2015
Drag line on property near Bloomsburg, PA. Witness says he saw blimp cable dragging near his home. pic.twitter.com/g30HY5iclC
— Andy Mehalshick (@AndyMehalshick) October 28, 2015