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Army: No video planned on Md. surveillance blimps

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.