LEMV: Not Your Father’s Blimp
Next time you’re in Afghanistan, make sure to keep an eye out for the U.S. Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command’s giant blimp-like surveillance airship.
The Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV), as it’s called, will be 250 feet long, autonomous, and able to float at up to 20,000 feet for an impressive three weeks at a time. As for its surveillance capabilities, a 40-foot-long stretch behind the cockpit will house a selection of spy gear, including a motion sensor and radar.
While the LEMV has yet to be built — the contract itself won’t be awarded until October 1 — you can get a pretty good idea of the colossal scope of this airship via the below video of Lockheed Martin’s P-791, which provided the inspiration for the LEMV. As you watch, keep in mind that the P-791 in the video is only 125 feet long, half the length planned for the LEMV!