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U.S. Army Orders Huge Airship to Aid Combat Missions
Space.com ^

Posted on 06/16/2010 7:54:07 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

The United States Army has ordered a huge hybrid airship longer than a football field to watch over battlefields in Afghanistan by the end of 2011, according to the airship's builder Northrop Grumman Corporation.

The company has received a $517 million Army contract to build up to three of the huge military airships, called the Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicles (LEMV). Such airships would serve as surveillance stations at 20,000 feet (6,096 meters) above sea level and could stay on watch for as long as three weeks at a time.

A LEMV would also have the capability to carry a 2,500-pound (1,113 kg) payload, and still zip along at 92 mph (148 kph) if necessary. The 302-foot (92-meter) airship would typically have a cruising speed of just 34 mph (54.7 kph).

That represents a staying power for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance over a longer period of time than what today's robotic drones such as the Predator or Reaper can provide. [7 sci-fi weapons today.]

"Our offering supports the Army's Joint Military Utility Assessment that this disruptive innovation must meet the Army's objective of a persistent unblinking stare while providing increased operational utility to battlefield commanders," said Alan Metzger, Northrop Grumman LEMV program manager.

A heavy-lift configuration could transform the LEMV into a sky transport that carries up to 15,000 pounds (6,803 kg).

The U.S. Army has also conducted military airship field trials for a tethered balloon that would carry radar to help weapon systems track and shoot down cruise missiles.

(Excerpt) Read more at space.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Foreign Affairs; Government; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: airship; combatmissions; orders; usarmy

1 posted on 06/16/2010 7:54:07 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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kind of cool looking.. this was a craft proposed by Lockheed Martin


2 posted on 06/16/2010 7:57:55 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed .. Monthly Donor Onboard)
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To: NormsRevenge

it’s all about air-superiority ... hence ... build more raptors ...


3 posted on 06/16/2010 7:58:44 PM PDT by Patton@Bastogne (Angels and Ministers of Grace, Defend Us ....)
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To: NormsRevenge

My father and uncle were airship pilots in the early 1960s. They’re some of the youngest (in their mid-70s) members of the Navy’s “Lighter Than Air Association.” I’ll send them this information; they’ll get a chuckle out of it.


4 posted on 06/16/2010 7:59:16 PM PDT by Tax-chick (A cat may look at a queen.)
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To: NormsRevenge

I remember when we were confident the U-2 could not be shot down .


5 posted on 06/16/2010 8:00:01 PM PDT by kbennkc (For those who have fought for it freedom has a flavor the protected will never know .F Trp 8th Cav)
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This is the Northup Grumman LEMV..


6 posted on 06/16/2010 8:00:53 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed .. Monthly Donor Onboard)
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To: kbennkc

20,000 feet .. ain’t much of a reach.


7 posted on 06/16/2010 8:02:30 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed .. Monthly Donor Onboard)
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To: NormsRevenge

Nice fat target for a SAM.


8 posted on 06/16/2010 8:03:12 PM PDT by beethovenfan (If Islam is the solution, the "problem" must be freedom.)
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To: NormsRevenge
Well Norm, even with my trusty 10-gauge, it would be a bit of a stretch.

However, Achmed and his trusty Shilka quad mount shouldn't have too much trouble hitting it. Not to mention the old COMBLOC 37MM and 57MM AA mounts that litter Afghanistan ... or soon would.

9 posted on 06/16/2010 8:06:30 PM PDT by Kenny Bunk (What is the scar on Obama's head? The instruction receiver?)
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To: kbennkc
I remember when we were confident the U-2 could not be shot down .

Indeed, consider this statement...

Such airships would serve as surveillance stations at 20,000 feet (6,096 meters) above sea level and could stay on watch for as long as three weeks at a time.

Then, realize that much of Afghanistan lies in the range of 8-12,000 feet above sea level. That leaves 8-12,000 feet of air under the airship.

As I recall, the max. vertical range of a Stinger is around 12,000 ft. I imagine the LEMV won't have much of an infra-red signature, but the margin-for-error doesn't amount to much.

10 posted on 06/16/2010 8:08:47 PM PDT by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance on Parade)
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To: NormsRevenge

Considering that our guys are working in the mountains at 10-15,000’ it would seem that these would be in easy range of a SAM or even a MANPAD.


11 posted on 06/16/2010 8:10:17 PM PDT by Eagles6 ( Typical White Guy: Christian, Constitutionalist, Heterosexual, Redneck.)
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To: NormsRevenge

$170 million apiece!!! Will it ever be worth it?


12 posted on 06/16/2010 8:13:03 PM PDT by Ex-Democrat Dean
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To: NormsRevenge

Isn’t surveillance and reconnaissance the reason for military satellites?

I also think the working altitude of these craft is much too low. I’ll bet dollars to donuts that the Afghans can shoot ‘em down.


13 posted on 06/16/2010 8:14:22 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Looks like bad implants .... But it will do the lookdown just fine.


14 posted on 06/16/2010 8:15:43 PM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet)
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To: Kenny Bunk

They better be good shots. I’d be hanging a couple racks of HellFires onboard to shoot back.


15 posted on 06/16/2010 8:17:41 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed .. Monthly Donor Onboard)
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To: NormsRevenge
to carry a 2,500-pound

What for - to drop on our troops should they point a gun at the Taliban?

16 posted on 06/16/2010 8:31:16 PM PDT by maine-iac7
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To: NormsRevenge

http://www.airliners.net/photo/Lockheed/Lockheed-Martin-P-791/1153517/L/

Skunk Works P-791


17 posted on 06/16/2010 8:46:33 PM PDT by ltc8k6
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To: NormsRevenge
The U.S. Army has also conducted military airship field trials for a tethered balloon

In 1862 or 1863, the first time. JFC, it's been 150 years. Barrage balloons work. Observation balloons work, although you don't have to know morse code anymore.

They work. Quit with the studies.

/johnny

18 posted on 06/16/2010 8:47:40 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Windflier
FL 200 is pretty thin air. You would die up there without added O2.

Occasionally, someone on the NAS Tower frequency will say "**** 1, cleared direct to one two thousand feet." Or one five thousand feet.

a)They aren't 737s. b)They are dots or less at 15,000 ft.

I go outside to watch and listen.

Sounds like freedom.

Time to climb is amazing.

/johnny

19 posted on 06/16/2010 8:54:19 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: NormsRevenge

They call that the “B.F.T.”?


20 posted on 06/16/2010 8:57:40 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: Windflier
I’ll bet dollars to donuts that the Afghans can shoot ‘em down.

You would bet wrong. 20K ft is 4 miles.

Largest round in this house is .50BMG. I paid the price of a small Kia for the scope and subsequent mods by the factory.

One mile, if I hand it to someone that can actually see, and we use the $5.00/round Arizona Ammunition precision rounds that I stocked up on back when they were only $5.00.

Russian SAMs might hit it, but Kadaffi won't vouch for them. He wanted surface to airplane missiles, and the Soviets kept sending him surface to air missiles.

There's a reason they aren't called hittles.

/johnny

21 posted on 06/16/2010 9:03:12 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: NormsRevenge

Kind of off topic, but I sometimes wonder if it would be possible to rebuild The Hindenberg with modern materials and helium, and use it as a luxury touring vehicle. It’s probably commercially impossible, but it would be immensely cool.


22 posted on 06/16/2010 9:10:30 PM PDT by sig226 (Mourn this day, the death of a great republic. March 21, 2010)
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To: NormsRevenge

Very cool. I read they used balloons in the civil war.

I wouldn’t be worried about getting shot down. First, achmed would have to use a radar, or be one hell of a shot (somebody please enlighten me on how the Stinger locks on, but I bet its ‘active’ and easy to spot). Second, why on earth are we to believe that the story lists the correct ceiling. I remember something as small fry as our four deuce mortars had their range ‘unlisted’...surely we don’t give out accurate info about aircraft capabilities.


23 posted on 06/16/2010 9:39:48 PM PDT by lacrew (Mr. Soetoro, we regret to inform you that your race card is over the credit limit.)
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To: JRandomFreeper
They are dots or less at 15,000 ft.

Well, that's encouraging.

24 posted on 06/16/2010 10:39:24 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: JRandomFreeper
Russian SAMs might hit it, but Kadaffi won't vouch for them. He wanted surface to airplane missiles, and the Soviets kept sending him surface to air missiles.

Alright, but someone commented upthread that at high mountain altitudes, it would be possible to hit these airships with something the Afghans already have.

I'm out of my depth on the science and ballistic technicalities involved here. Just commenting on what I'm seeing from more well-informed posters.

25 posted on 06/16/2010 10:43:53 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: sig226
It flies around the SF Bay Area every day out of Moffett Field - Airship Ventures. Goes over my house every other weekend or so. 185 feet long, about 60% of the Lockheed ship.


26 posted on 06/16/2010 11:39:49 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: NormsRevenge

When did Navy retire the last one? I remember that they were called s**tbags.


27 posted on 06/17/2010 3:00:48 AM PDT by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners)
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To: NormsRevenge

The airship could have been operational 2 years ago, but the EPA made the DOD redesign the porta-potties...to meet three week mission requirements..


28 posted on 06/17/2010 3:02:48 AM PDT by ken5050 (Save the Earth..It's the only planet with chocolate!!!)
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To: NormsRevenge

29 posted on 06/17/2010 3:17:47 AM PDT by Fresh Wind (Republicans should campaign like Rush Limbaugh. A lot more of them would get elected.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Miltary aviation started with balloons and for the same reasons; What’s old is new again.


30 posted on 06/17/2010 3:41:40 AM PDT by AFreeBird
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

That’s a blimp. I mean an 800 foot long airship that can hold 100 people and fly from Germany to Brazil. Imagine the tours it could do: down the Mississippi to the Grand Canyon, past Yosemite and then along Mount Rushmore, stuff like that. It would be the ultimate cool vacation.


31 posted on 06/17/2010 5:15:47 AM PDT by sig226 (Mourn this day, the death of a great republic. March 21, 2010)
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To: NormsRevenge
...92 mph (148 kph)... 302-foot (92-meter) airship...
My goodness.
32 posted on 06/17/2010 3:27:16 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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To: SunkenCiv
Someday.. SkyFReight.


33 posted on 06/17/2010 3:39:49 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed .. Monthly Donor Onboard)
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To: NormsRevenge

Wheee! ;’)


34 posted on 06/17/2010 6:08:15 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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To: NormsRevenge; sig226

All over the BBC news this morning:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12110386

Nice video of the prototype in flight. The company website is

http://www.hybridairvehicles.net/


35 posted on 01/04/2011 4:14:45 AM PST by MalPearce
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I keep saying that it feels more and more like 1914.


36 posted on 01/04/2011 4:19:44 AM PST by Vermont Lt (Don't taze my junk bro.)
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To: sig226

The National Tower at Gettysburg was an eyesore, and yet it was an excellent way to view the terrain and gain a good understanding of how the battle unfolded. Since it was torn down, I’ve dreamed about a battlefield tour program from tethered hot air balloons...


37 posted on 01/04/2011 4:26:12 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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