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Posted by Redneck Jim 2012-02-13 10:07||
#2 These aren't flammable.
It makes for a nice UAV and can stay up indefinitely with radio intercept and triangulation gear. Can also rout communications through for better reception and communication without gumming up a satellite. Think mobile cell tower that could expand coverage to half of Afghanistan.
Pretty neat piece of equipment.
Posted by DarthVader 2012-02-13 10:38||
#3 Hindenburg: 1937.
This is 2012. I'd like to think that we, as a culture, have gone past 1937 as a measure of airships, and can think freely.
Posted by gromky 2012-02-13 10:50||
#4 There's a video that shows it was the envelope covering that was the cause of the Hindenburg disaster. A shellac containing aluminum powder and iron oxide. Travelling thermite bomb awaiting a fuse. Any geek (takes bow, "Thank you") can tell you that hydrogen burns with a pink, almost invisible flame, whereas thermite goes poof.
Posted by AlmostAnonymous5839 2012-02-13 11:17||
#5 A very cost effective persistent surveillance tool. Tethered units however, must be returned to their moorings in inclement weather which leaves an obvious collection gap as well as a window of opportunity for nefarious activity.
Posted by Besoeker 2012-02-13 11:27||
#6 The use of airships is pretty irresistible. It is such a multi-role platform that several different classes are hard to beat.
The high altitude giant ship provides a combination AWACS, high bandwidth communication and satellite transceiver, huge area real time surveillance along with highly accurate GPS target identification, national weather service, X-Band radar to detect missiles, etc., etc.
Then there are the heavy lift cargo airships, like the German CargoLifter CL 160 (160 metric tons (176 tons) payload). We would want one that could carry about 200 tons, or three Abrams tanks with ammo.
Medium airships are for cargo transport in high altitude mountainous terrain that is very hard on helicopters, and has no landing area for aircraft. It could also move significant but smaller cargoes in rear areas, in a slow, methodical manner.
Eventually one could be rigged as a gunship with a Metal Storm type weapon (Australian invented, but the Chinese are now developing as well).
Smaller airships, likely unmanned or tethered, have already proven themselves for short to medium range surveillance.
Posted by Anonymoose 2012-02-13 11:30||
#7 I'm looking forward to the Great Zeppelin Wars of the 21st century.
Posted by SteveS 2012-02-13 12:03||
Posted by Bright Pebbles 2012-02-13 12:28||
Posted by Besoeker 2012-02-13 13:33||
#10 I imagine a dirigible floating around silently at night with some snipers aboard (or simply spotters) could do a lot of damage. The dirigible doesn't have to be huge, and it doesn't have to use hydrogen.
A dirigible could also make a nice floating air craft carrier for unmanned vehicles. Potentially extending their range and eliminating a lot of the cross-Pakistan problems.
Posted by rjschwarz 2012-02-13 14:58||
#11 Iff the USDOD-Navy hope to detect + destroy TLCMS + UW Strategic SLBMS just under, at, or atop the ocean surface or long-distance air strike, espec from origin/break-point to mid-flight stage(s), then NT Dirigibles is what they need.
Again, the Cold War Soviets recognized the potential, + considered same as "destabilizing", i.e. justifying expansion of the Arms Race + various MilStrike Options including Preemptive or Surrogate Strike - they demanded the US-NATO never dev such advanced-design Dirigibles = AirShips.
Posted by JosephMendiola 2012-02-13 19:24||
#12 Sealing compounds are simply too heavy, a good Machine gun could easily put enough holes in It to leak down to the ground.
Posted by Redneck Jim 2012-02-13 19:46||
#13 Redneck Jim, care to tell me how a) you find a HMG with a range of 10,000 ft, roughly straight up and how to get it within range of the sensor platform before a strike is ordered in on it? Seconly, these are for rear echelon, not front line. They are not "combat zeppelins". I still have my doubts as to the efficacy, but those points are not amongst them. Right tool for the job - low threat environment only, save the expensive stuff for where its really needed.
Posted by OldSpook 2012-02-13 21:33||
#14 US is working on an unmanned airship that is solar powered & can stay at 60,000 feet - indefinitely. First test flight crashed in PA last summer.
Posted by Anguper Hupomosing9418 2012-02-13 22:51||
#15 These things are not combat survivable. However, 99% of the time we are not in combat. So then they are a huge advantage. And even in combat they soak up a bunch of attacks that otherwise might affect a real combat platform.
Are these things a wartime winner, no.
Are these things a deterrent, oh yes.
Posted by rammer 2012-02-13 23:39||