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Tag Archives: airship
If persistence is the key to detecting and defeating semisubmersibles, airships like the M1400, would seem to be the logical choice for an ISR picket line.
Following are the most recent M1400 pics. No additional progress has been made subsequent to these photos as a result of the Air Force direction to suspend development activities. As of this writing, the airship is still inflated, and we still hold out some hope of transitioning the program to an alternate service sponsor. But the final outcome is still very much up in the air – no pun intended.
I always hoped we would make the cover of C4ISR Journal one day…
An even bigger money saver would be to transition ISR missions from pricey UAVs to airships, said Frost & Sullivan aerospace and defense industry analyst Mike Blades. High-altitude vehicles such as Global Hawk have grown far more expensive than the military initially forecast, he said. Global Hawk, in its genesis, was about building a $10 million drone that could do the job of a $100 million manned aircraft. But as more features and sensors were added to the vehicle, its price tag soared to $85 million. According to a Government Accountability Office report, its true cost (including research and development) is more than $200 million a copy.
“Lighter than air dirigibles are cheaper and can stay up for days. That’s the kind of thing you’re going to see,” said Blades. The Navy’s BAMS can stay on station for up to 34 hours.
Both the Air Force and the Navy should consider alternative systems for high-altitude ISR, he said.