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Monday, February 13, 2012

Fighting Pirates with Airships

Ignore the Army markings, an LEMV (Northrup Grumman picture)
Royal Navy looking into bringing back an old tool as reported in 21st century airships may join Navy fleet:
Scientists from the defence company Northrop Grumman have given briefings to the Navy on the latest airship that is about to enter military service.
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Commanders are also considering using it as a counter piracy vessel as the LEMV can lower up to 150 commandos along with their fast inflatable boats.

Travelling at over 80 knots the airship is almost three times faster than ships and the Navy’s version can travel for several days without refuelling its four gas turbine engines.
The Royal Navy is not, and should not be, the only Navy looking into this tool for the counter-pirate mission which would seem well suited to this type of aircraft. I have some more thoughts in a draft post I hope to have up tonight, schedule permitting.

3 comments:

  1. Probably the only way the RN will be able to purchase more "ships." This could well mean one less admiral being sacked.

    On a more serious note. How safe would the air/land/sea environment have to be to enable the use of an airship?

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  2. Wave heights are less a problem for the airship than for the pirates.

    Based on my research the weather that is conducive to pirates in small boats is just fine for airships.

    In fact with the better engines, the conditions can be better than the operating envelope for WWII blimps.

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  3. Gary Stringer10:36 AM

    An article that I read recently states that pirates have been unsuccessful in attacks on boats travelling at 18 knots per hour. Although travelling at this speed uses more fuel, it deters pirates from attacking. What are your views on this?

    Here is the article I was referring to: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-08/piracy-costing-6-9-billion-as-attacks-off-somalia-s-coast-climb-to-record.html

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