Achieving the high ground in battle has been paramount since men first took up arms against one another. From Caesar, to Napoleon, to Gettysburg, facing your foe from above has always proven invaluable.
While Northrop Grumman's Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) doesn't offer the luxury of firing down at an enemy from a a favorable vantage, it does aim to provide some stunning intelligence to level the battlefield in America's favor.
The LEMV has been a dream of U.S. brass and Grumman for years, and Nathan Hodge at The WSJ reached out to the contractor to see when the newest airship in America's arsenal would be hitting the field.
The Army awarded Grumman the $517 million contract in 2010 and the company promised to deliver in under a year-and-a-half, but Hodge says the Army has been delaying a test flight.
Hodge found few answers from the contractor, aside from the facts it's still pushing the project ahead, and the Army's gearing up for a trial sometime soon, but his piece offers an opportunity to take a look at the LEMV.
It can carry an immense array of surveillance equipment, which among other things enable it to pick up a cell phone call, determine its level of interest, and beam a high resolution camera at the face of the caller from 20,000 feet...