Spy blimps may get shot down by delays, costs

The future of the U.S. surveillance blimp program across the military services could be in jeopardy because of schedule delays, technical complications and inflated costs, reports Noah Shachtman at Wired's Danger Room blog.

The Air Force is poised to pull the plug on its Blue Devil Block 2 airship, the Navy just deflated its MZ-3A blimp and the Army’s Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle airship, which was supposed to be in Afghanistan by now, has run into significant development roadblocks, the article noted.

"Blimps’ status as the Next Big Thing in high-flying spycraft is in jeopardy," the article said.

Reader Comments

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 JB Blighty

If you read the article, it is only the Blue Devil from MAV 6 that is having technical problems, the US Army LEMV is slightly behind schedule, but so are nearly all new aircraft programs. THE US Navy blimp which is just a old small Lightship has not been deflated and has another contract testing gear down South. The LEMV a hybrid air vehicle will be worth waiting for, as an aviation masterpiece should not be rushed.

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