Army says surveillance blimps coming to Aberdeen, Md., won't use video cameras

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WASHINGTON — The Army says it won't install high-powered video cameras on two blimp-like surveillance aircraft that will start hovering above suburban Baltimore in December.

Maj. Beth Smith of the North American Aerospace Defense Command told The Washington Post ( ) Friday the Army has dropped a requirement for video cameras on the stationary balloons.

The cameras were mentioned in documents from 2009 that the Army recently released to the Electronic Privacy Information Center under a federal court order.

The Army announced plans last year to tether the balloons on land owned by Aberdeen Proving Ground for a three-year exercise. They're part of a program called JLENS, short for Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System.

Smith says construction of the JLENS base stations has begun near Interstate 95.

Information from: The Washington Post,

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