It’s not bad enough that we have to deal with a sitting president who has a kill list, an assassination czar and wants 30,000 drones in American airspace by the end of the decade, but now we have the Army testing a spy blimp in the New Jersey sky. The blimp, a Long- endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV), took its first flight on Tuesday evening.
The craft, believed to run the military as much as $517 million apiece “if all options are exercised” and can soar in the sky at heights of 20,000 feet for as long as three weeks. The LEMV is 370-feet in length and its manufacturer, Northrop Grumman, says it can be powered either by in-air pilots or by remote control. It can transport seven tons of cargo from Pittsburg to Los Angeles at 30 miles-per-hour and can spy on entire cities from a single spot in the sky.
“Additional manned flights will resume following a planned and very detailed inspection of the vehicle,” Cummings says.
Previously, the Pentagon invested nearly $200 million on the Blue Devil Block 2, a similar surveillance drone developed by researchers at Virginia’s Mav6, that never made it as far as their newest LEMV did. Despite plans to put the Blue Devil over Afghanistan — where they hoped it could scan 36 miles at a time from the sky — the Pentagon cancelled the program after growing costs and ongoing problems made the price tag for maintenance alone quadruple.
While the LEMV project was agreed to in June of 2010 with the hopes of using it in Afghanistan and consequently the thought would be it would stay military and continue to have use overseas, I believe that was also the same song and dance we got when it came to drones. Now they want to populate our skies with them.
This would definitely not be a vehicle that would fall under the claims of Charles Krauthammer, who said that the first American to shoot down a drone would become a folk hero. At 20,000 feet it would take more than your average gun owner has to even come close to that.
Just imagine this thing flying over your house and according to the current administration recording all your movements. At 20,000 feet you won’t see it so don’t worry, I’m confident the government would let you know if they were actually spying on you. Yes my tongue is planted in my cheek.
My what freedoms we give up just to “feel” secure, but not actually be secure.
Here’s a video of the text flight: