The U.S. Army conducted a successful first flight of the Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle, or LEMV, a blimp-looking air vehicle designed to float above an area for up to 21 days gathering intelligence.
“For more than 90 minutes, Aug. 7, the hybrid air vehicle known as the Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle, or LEMV, stayed afloat above Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.,” the Army said in a statement.
The LEMV can carry nearly any kind of sensor or equipment and float at 22,000 feet for three weeks. It will eventually conduct long-term Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, or ISR, missions and will be able to be used as a communications relay for troops on the ground and afar.
The test flight of the football field-sized airship met all objectives, including a safe launch and recovery, verification of flight control systems, airworthiness, and system performance.