Giant Blimp on the Rise

The idea is pretty wild, even for the dreamers at Darpa: build a giant blimp that can haul 1,800 soldiers and their gear 12,000 nautical miles, in less than a week.wired_blimp.jpgBut the Pentagon's research arm is serious enough about the project, code-named Walrus, to hand out more than $6 million to Lockheed Martin and Aeros Aeronautical Group to start designing the thing.The Defense Department has renewed its interest in blimps in recent years; a pair of tethered airships kept watch over the giant American military complex near the Baghdad airport, when I was there. The "tri-phibian" (air, land, sea) Walrus is particularly intriguing because the Pentagon is trying to figure out ways to make American forces less reliant on deep-water ports, foreign bases, and billion-dollar airports to wage war. The Army's Surface Deployment and Distribution Command has its own plans for a such an airship.Darpa hopes the designs they've just funded will lead to a small-scale Walrus, capable of carting 30 tons, by 2008, Defense Industry Daily notes. That's as much as today's C-130 transport planes. But it's only a fraction of the million pounds that the agency wants the Walrus will ultimately be able to lug around.(Illustration by John MacNeill, used with premission.)

Show Full Article

Related Topics


Most Popular Military News

Fox News - Military and Technology