US Army's LEMV spy blimp spotted hovering over New Jersey, may take up cargo duties (video)

US Army's LEMV spy blimp spotted hovering over New Jersey, may take up cargo duties video

The US Army's not-so-secret Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) spy blimp is better at staying hidden than we thought... if unintentionally. Although it was due to fly the friendly skies of Lakehurst, New Jersey in mid-June, Northrop Grumman's usually unmanned surveillance was only just caught floating over the Jersey Shore as part of a maiden flight on August 8th. The conspicuous, delayed test run proved that the LEMV could take off, steer and land smoothly, and started a series of exercises that should culminate in combat trials over Afghanistan at the start of 2013. Northrop's KC Brown Jr. tells Wired that there's a possible (if purely coincidental) consolation for missing another deadline -- the airship could be used in a pinch for carrying as much as seven tons of supplies without getting into harm's way, albeit at a fairly glacial 30MPH. The successful first flight won't be much consolation to Mav6, whose Blue Devil 2 was scuttled at the last minute after technical issues; it's nonetheless a relief for US troops, who may get weeks at a time of constant intelligence on enemy movements. Catch a short snippet of the early LEMV journey after the break.