$11 Billion…for Blimps?
Blimps on the battlefield. No friends, this is not a joke. Oh, how I wish it was however.
Seems someone with WAY too much time on their hands in the Pentagon has decided that what the U.S. Armed Forces really needs to move equipment and cargo to the front lines are…blimps.
The Pentagon has put out a bid request for a blimp building contract worth $11 billion over 30 years.
Damn, that’s a lot of blimps, baby.
Two companies are neck-n-neck fighting it out for blimp superiority. One is an obscure Tarzana, CA company called Worldwide Aeros, while the other is Lockheed Martin. The press is calling it David vs. Goliath.
How serious is Lockheed in building blimps for Uncle Sam? Check this out:
Lockheed farmed out the blimp job to its Skunkworks unit, the legendary aircraft design house in Palmdale that has developed many of the nation's most advanced aircraft, including the SR-71 and U-2 spy planes.One major – and all too obvious – hurdle remains for the blimp engineers is this from the L.A. Times:
Moreover, the airships would be vulnerable to antiaircraft fire, not only because of their size but also because they would be flying at relatively low altitude of about 10,000 feet, bringing them within range of shoulder-fired missiles.Duh.
Maybe to get back some of their investment, the Pentagon can advertise Budweiser Beer on the side of these blimps as they poke along over Baghdad at their designed cruising speed of 138 MPH.