Thursday, August 9, 2012
After years of development and a string of delays, Northrop Grumman hauled the Army’s Long-Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) from its hangar and let it sail into the New Jersey sky yesterday.
As technology and desire finally collide in the military’s hunt for a next-generation blimp, the 90-minute test flight was a milestone the Army is eager to expand upon in its drive to get the LEMV downrange.
By early next year, the blimp is supposed to be lingering over the Afghan countryside for weeks at a time. The Army expects the LEMV to be communicating among multiple battlefield elements, with or without a crew of 12 to 24, and be capable of hauling seven tons of cargo 2,400 miles at speeds up to 30 mph.
While definitely an impressive technological feat, not everyone is a fan of the LEMV. Mark Jones at Market Info Group sees the limitations of the LEMV far outweighing the blimp’s abilities.
This article was posted: Thursday, August 9, 2012 at 6:27 am