Northrop Grumman, a defense contractor for the government, has finally managed to squeeze in some flying time for their giant surveillance airship that is meant for the U.S. Army. This giant spy blimp is known as a Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle, where it is filled with helium while outfitted with sensors as well as data links, being roughly the size of a football field – that is how massive it is. Tipped to make its maiden flight sometime in the first or second week of June, it does make me wonder where will the Army deploy this puppy – perhaps more backwater countries that have no known air defense capabilities? After all, something of this size and speed does not exactly make it the ideal spying vehicle, don’t you think so?
The blimp will more or less offer persistent surveillance, although whether it will be successful in implementing its mission is another issue altogether. Should its test flight go as planned, and all the equipment function just right, this pilotless vehicle will then make its way across the Atlantic in “early winter,” where it is bound for “a theater” for a front-line demonstration. Many speculate that this “theater” will be Afghanistan.