Now airships are poised to make a
real life return to the battlefront. Measuring 250 feet in
length, Lockheed Martin's Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle
(LEMV) is sure to make an imposing presence on the battlefield when
The ship is capable of carrier passengers, or
controlled by operators in the U.S. The airship can sit at
up to 20,000 feet for as long as three weeks at a time. The
LEMV is actually a special kind of airship called a hybrid airship.
Where most airships are lighter than air when flying, hybrid airships
are heavier than air, though they do get some of their buoyancy from
gas compartments. The rest comes from lift during flight (like
airplanes). Some, like LEMV, feature turbines on their
underside to help them initially launch into the air, though they
still require a short runway.
The materials which compose the
three lobes of the aircraft have not been released, so its hard to
assess how resistant to enemy fire they will be. Given, the
craft's cruising height, though, it should be able to remain
relatively safe. The aircraft carries its instruments and
sensors in a 40-foot long, 15-foot wide area behind the cockpit.
The sensor payload will be 2,500 pounds and draw 16 Kw of power.
outlandish airship will see test deployment to the battlefield in
Afghanistan two years from now. It will be used primarily for
Lockheed Martin is also developing separate
airships to transport large amounts of cargo at lower altitudes.
The LEMV and Lockheed's other airships are largely based on the
125-foot P-791 hybrid airship, built and tested in 2006. The
P-791 showed itself capable of taking flight, carrying heavy loads,
and executing sharp turns over six test flights.
quote: Err... I can see aircraft at 20,000 feet every day when I look up into the sky. Heck, I can see them higher as most commercial airliners cruise at 30,000 - 35,000 feet.
quote: stingers can aquire a target using optical recognition in addition to heat seeking. they can also fly up to about 7 miles. this is a very stupid idea to put into practice. 1 $10,000 stinger and the air force is out $250 million.
quote: But what are you seeing? The actual plane? The light beacons? A reflective surface hitting the sun? The exaust stream? This kind of aircraft could be quite hard to pinpoint in the sky, and you cannot compare it to a jet directly. I imagine if a jet at 20k had no exaust, was not reflected and had no running lights it would be much harder to find. It would be nothing more than a small dot, and you would surely have to know where to look.
quote: Wingspan of Boeing 747 is 500 feet, looking up 30000 feet the angle of observation is merely 0.000006 degrees. There is no human eye that can resolve that.
quote: You serious? The planes you can see are when they are flying low altitude. Those you see with a cloud trail is either climbing up flying low altitude or similar. Planes begin to fly low roughly 30 minutes before they reach destination (or just took off). Wingspan of Boeing 747 is 500 feet, looking up 30000 feet the angle of observation is merely 0.000006 degrees. There is no human eye that can resolve that.
quote: You can help Dailytech's forum out by refraining from posting garbage.
quote: But with the electronics package in this thing just imagine what the Electronic Countermeasure would be like. This could be an Avenger on steroids for that purpose( or is it the Skyraider, I get the ECM unit wrong sometimes).
quote: 20,000 feet high doesnt sound like much but if it can also be 10 miles away and still see the target then that is over 70,000 feet you would have to shoot to hit it.
quote: Put some heavy duty Kevlar under its skin would also help against the AAA. It is a known fact that it takes quiet a few bullet holes to even start to bring down a hot air baloon, if the ballast bladders are self healing then that helps also.
quote: I wouldn't count this thing out too quickly, there are more defences possible for it than we will know for years I imagine.
quote: I'm sure they have already thought of that. I'll bet money that it'll take something much bigger to bring that down.
quote: In addition to that, the USAF maintains a healthy air defense presence over the Middle East (where they have had air superiority since the fall of Iraq and Afghanistan's Air Forces)
quote: We do not yet have mature technology for self healing armor yet. Some are in very early research state though.
quote: Hmm.. they kinda did. And did a lot more than that. I was watching people smash on the pavement in front of me. How did the Taliban do that?
quote: A 23 pound shell with a proximity fuse can do a fair bit of damage... If you have no ability to return fire and you can only run away at a snails pace, well...
quote: In tests by that company a scaled model of about 40ft. was subjected to 500 rounds of small arms fire, 100 rounds from a .50 caliber machine gun, and a MANPAD (shoulder-launched surface-to-air missile) from point blank range.
quote: As far as I can see all it would take is a single low-tech AA missile fired from a Mig 15...
quote: little slower than current jets
quote: by Omega215D on September 25, 2009 at 12:45 PMIt's a flying toomah....
quote: The outlandish airship will see test deployment to the battlefield in Afghanistan two years from now.
quote: Given, the craft's cruising height, though, it should be able to remain relatively safe.
quote: The aircraft carriers its instruments and sensors in a 40-foot long
quote: Thats really kind of dumb of you. The US could wipe out the taliban overnight. It just cant do so without wiping out the non-taliban population too. The US is taking casualties and facing all these problems precisely because it doesnt want kill millions of innocents. If it was just about killing as many people as they could, the US could have just nuked the crap out of afghanistan.