The US Army is set to begin testing its blimp-like surveillance airships, designed to help the military detect and destroy cruise missiles from attacking the nations capital and other East Coast cities.
The blimps at the center of the tests in Maryland are unmanned, 80-yard long, helium-filled aircraft that can float up to 10,000 feet in the air. At that height a third of the cruising altitude for commercial airliners they will patrol the skies above major East Coast cities for three years.
During the testing, one aircraft also called an aerostat will scan in an area from New York to North Carolinas Outer Banks, and as far west as central Ohio. The other blimp will carry radar to help the military on the ground pinpoint targets.