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Super blimp makes debut

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by jobberone, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. jobberone

    jobberone Orangutans make great guitarists Staff Member

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    http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/10/armys-all-seeing-super-blimp-makes-debut-flight/


    Army's all-seeing, super blimp makes debut flight

    By Alicia Tarancon
    CNN
    The U.S. Army has launched the debut flight of its massive Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV), a souped-up blimp designed to fly continuously for 21 days and provide full surveillance of an area.
    The LEMV was launched Tuesday from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey. The test flight lasted about 90 minutes.
    The all-seeing airship is longer than football field and taller than a seven-story building, according to maker Northrop Grumman. Its shape separates the 21st-century "hybrid air vehicle," as Northrop Grumman calls it, from the blimps that have flown over sporting events for decades.

    The LEMV is aerodynamic, with a shape closer to an airfoil than an elongated football like classic blimps. So while old-school blimps stay aloft because of the helium inside, the LEMV uses the helium and its shape to achieve lift.
    Northrop Grumman has a $517 million contract to build three airships for the Army.



    I think this is kind of fascinating. Able to lift more and fly for orders of magnitude less money. I just wonder how vulnerable it will be.
  2. wittenacious

    wittenacious Active Member

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    That's actually pretty cool, debate over costs aside. I wonder if they'll get to where they deploy these to areas ahead of the President's arrival... for whatever reason?

    I've been in places where the President was going to make an appearance. Advanced CIA (the public was made aware of) investigations, overhead Army Apache Helicopter surveillance/security runs (before and during), as well as National Guard presence throughout were a part of the security effort.

    An LEMV (super blimp) like this could do a lot of recon, and providing of protection, one would think.
  3. a_minimalist

    a_minimalist Active Member

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    That's exactly what I was thinking.
  4. speedkilz88

    speedkilz88 Well-Known Member

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    They could offset that $11,000 fuel expense by getting a sponsor. ;)
  5. jobberone

    jobberone Orangutans make great guitarists Staff Member

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    :laugh2: Good one!
  6. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

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    Get the Navy to sponsor it :laugh2:
  7. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    A very slow air-whale. I'm sure they know more than me, but I don't really see the point, when you have unmanned drones that can run rings around that giant at a greater rate of speed.
  8. jobberone

    jobberone Orangutans make great guitarists Staff Member

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    These babies can carry a reasonable payload. My guess is it would be dropped and parachuted in. I just don't how you could defend them. Obviously they understand the threats .
  9. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    I don't think it's about payload, but monitoring and I have the feeling it's not about monitoring in other countries in war zones, but here on our own soil. Where it's not likely to face fire.
  10. speedkilz88

    speedkilz88 Well-Known Member

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    Good point, it's the next step for Big Brother.
  11. a_minimalist

    a_minimalist Active Member

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    That's just creepy.
  12. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    Without stretching the rules here too far, just look up the use of drones in the U.S. and the bill attached to it's happening. It'll make more sense in seeing that that giant whale is not fit (and probably not intended) for a war zone at all.
  13. jobberone

    jobberone Orangutans make great guitarists Staff Member

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    The article talks about delivering supplies.
  14. Sam I Am

    Sam I Am Unfriendly and Aloof!

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    Monitoring the open lands around the Mexico boarder makes perfect sense.
  15. TheCount

    TheCount Pixel Pusher

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    It is offset and they do have a sponsor. Us. :laugh2:

    As far as use, something that big and slow moving obviously isn't meant for war zones. It's for domestic and peacetime monitoring, and I don't see why it wouldn't be deployed "against" American wherever the country needs extra eyes.

    It's only a matter of time before similar devices are deployed in major cities. More and more cameras keep popping up around NYC, why not a blimp? Soon it'll be the norm.
  16. jobberone

    jobberone Orangutans make great guitarists Staff Member

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    Don't like that very much.
  17. a_minimalist

    a_minimalist Active Member

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    I'll give you that. But looking up in NJ and seeing that sucker would be much more than unsettling.
  18. nablives

    nablives New Member

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    Oh wow. I recall reading that the funding for this was in jeopardy not that long ago. It looks like someone made the right friends.
  19. casmith07

    casmith07 I'm the best poster in the game!

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    The defense of this thing is altitude. It can float high enough that any unconventional enemy we're facing couldn't shoot it down.

    Unconventional, that is.

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