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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Huge Military Blimp Getting Ready To Fly And Spy

Chris Velazco

Chris Velazco is a mobile enthusiast and writer who studied English and Marketing at Rutgers University. Once upon a time, he was the news intern for MobileCrunch, and in between posts, he worked in wireless sales at Best Buy. After graduating, he returned to the new TechCrunch to as a full-time mobile writer. He counts advertising, running, musical theater,... → Learn More


Call me unimaginative, but I always thought blimps were best suited for sporting events and alternate history fiction. The US military would beg to differ, if this pearly-white behemoth is any indication. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Blue Devil Block 2, a floating surveillance platform that could soon appear at war-torn combat zones the world over.

These photos come courtesy of Wired’s Danger Room, and at first glance, the airship doesn’t live up to its namesake. It’s neither blue, nor particularly menacing, but the Blue Devil is downright massive: it’s 370 feet long from end to end, making it nearly double the size of the Goodyear blimp.

This whale is slated to carry an array of wide-area cameras and eavesdropping equipment into scenic Afghanistan by the middle of next year. Once it reaches its destination, the Blue Devil will hang 20,000 feet in the air and starting spying. An onboard supercomputer will process all the information, which will then by relayed to our friendly forces below.

The Blue Devil has been in the works for a long time, as most military projects tend to be. Interestingly, Danger Room notes that it’s one of two airship-related military projects in the works, which is probably two more than any civilian would’ve expected.