Air Force's Blue Devil airship undergoes testing

The Air Force is running tests on its optionally manned, giant airship Blue Devil Block 2 in preparation for deployment in Afghanistan by the middle of next year, reports Noah Shachtman at Wired’s Danger Room blog.

The airship, which is equipped with surveillance gear such as wide-area cameras designed to scan 36 square miles at a time for battlefield threats from a height of 20,000 feet or more, was first inflated with helium last week at a hanger in Elizabeth City, N.C.

Air Force officials are keeping their fingers crossed that Congress won’t give the $211 million project the ax in an increasingly tight budget environment.

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