Iraq war logs: US spy balloons blew towards Iran

Hi-tech JLens blimps with secret technology used to detect cruise missiles may have dropped into Tehran’s lap

An American military balloon like the JLens blimps
that broke free from their moorings in Iraq and are last recorded in
the war logs as blowing towards Iran. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Losing a balloon is usually a cause for tears, but when it contains
high definition cameras and is drifting towards Iran it may prompt more
than a good cry. On 24 April 2006 an American JLens balloon broke from its moorings at the UK-run Shaiba logistics base south of Basra, according to an intelligence report in the Iraq war logs.

gusting SW winds are likely to drive the balloon toward Iran. MTF [more
to follow],” said the report. JLens, which stands for joint land
elevated netted sensor, is described by its manufacturer, Raytheon, as
“providing long endurance (up to 30 days on station), over-the-horizon
detection and tracking capabilities required to defeat the proliferating
cruise missile threat”. Since Iran has no cruise missiles but the US
does, the benefits to Iran of the windfall of a JLens landi… >>>

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