Army Blimp spotted airborne

Mashable

The US Army is now flight testing their LEMV:

A football field-sized blimp belonging to the U.S. Army was spotted over New Jersey skies Tuesday.

Dubbed the Long-Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle, or LEMV, it’s the army’s latest aerospace project,Wired reported. YouTube user jmeriney revealed the blimp in a video he posted on Wednesday.

Made by military aircraft manufacturer Northrop Grumman, the LEMV is designed to be a lighter-than-air cargo surveillance airship that can fly without a pilot.

It can float above combat zones for 21 days straight, and is equipped with high-tech sensors that can monitor insurgents from above, the Wall Street Journal reported. While the blimp can only travel up to 30 miles an hour, it consumes 10 times less fuel than other vehicles with comparable assets.

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  • cows4me

    Mos well put a bulls eye on it to. Every terrorist naton worth their salt will be sighting in their missiles on this baby.

    • thor42

      Yeah, I know what you mean, but on thinking about it, it may not be quite as vulnerable as it seems.

      Heat-seeking missiles? Nope. This thing would seem to put out next-to-no heat (especially for a ground-based missile) when it is floating at 20-thousand-odd feet.

      Radar-guided missiles? It may well be coated with radar-absorbent material.

      That just leaves unguided missiles and anti-aircraft fire.
      Agreed, some vulnerability there I think, but after a quick look around the web, it is surprising how few of those weapons seem to be able to reach up around 20,000 feet or so. (WO – any comments? What’s your knowledge of AA weapons like? How high can AA guns reach?)

      Ideally, this should either have a few air-to-ground missiles itself or have an armed UAV loitering around a few km away, ready to intervene should the Taliban have a go at this.

  • BG

    The US keeps trying to win their hearts and minds with the bravery of being out of range?
    hasn’t worked so far.

  • Rodger T

    You would have to assume that this would only be deployed where they have total air superiority,it can fly at altitudes out of range of rpgs` .
    Unless the taliban can get the Russians to repay the US by supplying them (the taliban)with shoulder launched anti -air missiles ,it will be fairly safe.

  • cribble

    It will probably work ok until the wind gets up to 31 mph, then “bye-bye blimp”

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