U.S. Army to get new hybrid blimps for Afghanistan


Verified Military
Sep 7, 2006
By Melissa Mahony | Jun 25, 2010 |

By the end of 2011, three U.S. Army airships could be on
their way to the Middle East.
The LEMVs (Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicles)
will slowly skim the skies over Afghanistan, providing
military surveillance to troops on the ground. Last week the
U.S. Army signed a $517 million agreement with
Northrop Grumman to build the aircraft within 18
Longer than a football field, the new LEMV, Condor 304,
will not be your grandmother’s blimp, but a robotic spy
ship giving “a persistent unblinking stare” to the Earth
below for weeks at a time. Though not intended for combat, the craft will be adaptable to
various missions, with apparently easy sensor changes.
Aiding in the design is British company Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV).

Lewis Page of UK’s The Register reports:
HAV’s new special sauce was the idea of “hybrid” ships which would not, like
their illustrious predecessors, actually be lighter than air. Some 60 to 80 per cent
of their weight would be supported by the buoyancy of their helium, and the rest
by other means: vertical thrust from the engines during takeoff and landing, and
aerodynamic lift generated by the ship’s forward motion while in transit.
Traveling at altitudes of 20,000 feet for 21 days, the LEMV could possibly provide non-stop
ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) capability to the military for a 2,000-mile
landscape. No pilot necessary.
According to the Army, in about 10 months they will inflate the new LEMV and then test it in
Yuma, Arizona.
The HAV304 is one of many military airship designs created in recent years. For instance,
Lockheed Martin’s P-971 prototype (which reminds me of Ghostbuster’s Stay-Puft
marshmallow man) is shown below. This “suck ship” used hovercraft technology in reverse to
steady it to the ground.


Pretty cool.
There was a proposed giant blimp to transport cargo, huge weight, huge distances, would be nice for A'stan and our standoff with Pakistan over trucking routes etc...
Here ya go...

DARPA (Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency)

Imagine an aircraft that could lift 1-2 million pounds of cargo, then fly it up to 12,000 miles nonstop without needing a runway to land on.

Cargo Blimp
91B & Scotth :rolleyes:...

91B, Dude, this is a new deployment that you didn't know about with an exciting capability, WTF over?

Scotth, do some research into the range of shoulder SAMs & height the blimps the use.
I think these were the low flying UFO's all over the Southwest a few years back.

Cool as hell.

Almost limitless loiter time. They could probably be used as "hives", a sort of floating hangar for VTOL drones that could carry out missions and return to this platform for refitting. The possibilities are endless.
If your post is missing, it may be because I and I alone deemed it to be full of BULLSHIT which did nothing to contribute to the thread or board.

Warm regards.

Chopstick said:
That is pretty derogatory and insulting especially to the women who are on the site who are currently serving and have served in uniform. Not funny IMHO. That is just a civilian's:2c:

Concur, feel free to make those jokes at your local he man woman haters club but don't bring them here. Women Marines and other female servicemembers signed the dotted line just like us. Personally I think they have a lot rougher time of it at the work place than we do. Yes, it's easy to pick on some of the out of standards female service members but I think we highlight them because they stand out more. There are plenty of out of standards male servicemembers out there as well who hide amongst their peers. Now, I will say that some females are not held accountable because their male leadership are unwilling to enforce these standards or are unfamiliar with their standards. This is a leadership issue and not a female servicemember issue. If I have a female Marine who is not in standards, whether it is hair, uniform, or physical appearance standards, it is not hard to put her into a body composition program or have an SNCO, male or female, get her into standards. They shouldn't be treated differently than any other Marine and being a Marine means living by standards and exceeding them. Now the Marine Corps is a powerful organization and Semper Fidelis goes a long way but it can't stop the cycle of life. You can't tell a female Marine that she can't become a mom no more than you can't tell a male Marine that he can't become a dad. That being said, there are regulations for pregnant Marines and I am sure this applies to the other the services as well.

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Anyway, back to the thread.

These things look great...I don't know about them transporting cargo or supplies to somewhere high-ish threat though, blimps have never gone particularly fast, nor can they really.
I bet they perform well in all weather conditions and SAM's will be no threat at all.:uhh:
Name an aircraft that performs in all weather conditions.

SAMs will be a minimal threat, they have a low RADAR/IR signature, RPG's would be a bigger threat.
Still a work in progress as far as I am concerned.
I predict UFO sightings will increase exponentially... :)

I'm pretty sure this isn't really new, I'm fairly confident they were using maybe a different model but still a blimp in Iraq last time I was there. I know for certain we had one on base at Ft. Huachuca when I was there, enormously capable sensor capability and unmatched loiter time.

As far as the SAM threat, the bad guys would get a much better payoff if they launched said SAM at a helicopter full of Joes than at an unmanned bag of air... if they could even get their hands on one in the first place.
If your post is missing, it may be because I and I alone deemed it to be full of BULLSHIT which did nothing to contribute to the thread or board.

Warm regards.


Aww gee wiz, now I get to wonder if some of the missing posts were aimed at my UFO post.:(