Monday, September 20, 2010

Airship drones

Awhile ago, I posted about the "Beast of Kandahar" in The Giant Blimp of Kandahar, which was suspected to be a long endurance, reconnaissance UAV. I found this pic a few days ago, and it seems to be the same aircraft. They both have a triple tail fin and similar overall shape. At the time, I guessed that it was a prototype or scale model of the Lockheed Martin LEMV. The caption just named it as the Persistent Surveillance System.

The earlier photo had no sense of scale, so I was pleased to get a closer look at "the Beast". As we can see, it is a pretty large maybe 40 feet or more, but that is much less than the reported 200 feet of the LEMV. Lockheed has understandably not released very much info on the LEMV, but they have hinted that it will be a UAV capable of staying aloft and using multiple technology to find and identify enemies. We can certainly assume it has powerful daylight, Nightvision and thermal cameras. It also might mount a magnetic anomaly detector for looking for IEDs or submarines or so forth, but that is just a blind guess on my part. It could also be used for things such as intercepting radio and satellite phone signals, or as a booster to send friendly communications. The one thing I am pretty sure of is that we will see more like it in the future.
Well, I don't really have any more info. I just thought it was a neat picture.

I can't tell, but I think this is not the same aircraft. Seems the nose and fins are shaped differently. But I felt bad for such a bare bones post, so I figured I would treat you, my beloved readers, to the fruit of a 3 second Bing image search. You are welcome.

1 comment:

  1. That's an "aerostat", which is another name for a tethered airship. They're used as radar platforms in many places, including the US-Mexican border.