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US military testing high-tech dirigibles in Utah

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posted on Apr, 15 2010 @ 12:04 AM
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Article


SALT LAKE CITY – The U.S. military has begun testing massive high-tech dirigibles — designed to provide battlefield commanders with a bird's-eye view of cruise missiles or other threats — in the skies over the Utah desert.



An unmanned 242-foot-long balloon was launched Wednesday morning about 80 miles west of Salt Lake City. It stayed aloft for about three hours before it was pulled back down as planned, according to Paula Nicholson, a spokeswoman for Dugway Proving Ground.



Officials said the aerostats will be less expensive to maintain and operate than conventional aircraft-based radar while providing battlefield commanders a bird's-eye view of threats in a given area.


These look kind of like zepplins back in world war 1, but the tech is so different. Instead of the AWACS E-3 Sentry flying around, we may see these ballon type aircraft instead.

Seems to be that more and more military tech is becoming unmanned. I wonder whats the next kind of thing thats going to come out unmanned will be?




posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 04:02 PM
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Kinda reminds me of the stealth blimp
www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 03:33 AM
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it is actually a dammed good idea - herkening back to the very first uses of tethered baloons with an observer that were simply tethered above a units CP to give commanders a innkling of the ` big picture `

i would be interested to see if they have plans to ` scale ` it for smaller and more mobile units - enavling advancing troops to better secure thier laying up or defencive positions - simply dig in - send up the tethered baloon - and bingo - you can see incoming threats for kilometers - looking over terrain - withoiut having to position forward observation posts

there are however drawbacks - such as - it makes a exclelent targetting marker for indirect fire artilery such as motars



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 03:45 AM
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yea I understand the mechanics of it all
but why Utah????

why not in Iraq or Afgh
where there is an actual war
going on???


nevermind

Vast tracts of military-owned desert were chosen for
the testing because of their remoteness and resemblance to
the mountainous, arid environment of Afghanistan, the military
said in a statement.


now if u believe that I have some ocean front property ...


[edit on 21-4-2010 by boondock-saint]



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 03:58 AM
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lol

I wonder how bulletproof
those things really are??

How many wanna make a bet with me
that u don't start seeing these things
on the border with Mexico ???



[edit on 21-4-2010 by boondock-saint]



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 05:40 AM
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reply to post by boondock-saint
 


thats because you dont send the R&D team , expenisve and delicate test and monitoring equipment into the war zone

nor do you test prototypes in war zones [ what if it breaks its tether and drifts away ? ]

the logic for testing new ideas on home soil is not rocket science



posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 10:35 PM
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reply to post by boondock-saint
 


Actually, they have been there for some time now. They are depicted on aviation sectional charts and surrounded by a bubble of restricted airspace. I know of three offhand, R for restricted:

R-2309 in AZ, north of Yuma

R-2312 in AZ, near Sierra Vista and Fort Huachuca

R-5115 in NM, I think near El Paso.

They are tethered at 15000 ft according to the charts, so hitting them with a rifle would be difficult


D.E.



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