Other defense news outlets can gnash their teeth over the advancement, proliferation and implications of drone technology. Danger Room says YAOWA to all that. The drones -- at least the ones that don't shoot -- are surreptitiously passing the crown to mega-spy blimps. Noah Shachtman explains:
Surveillance drones like the Predator and the Reaper are starting to lose just a bit of their sheen in military circles, even though their number of “orbits,” or combat air patrols, has more than quadrupled in the last five years. Giant spy blimps are the new hotness. They can stay in the air for much longer than any drone. Instead of a Predator’s single camera, the blimps can carry a whole bunch of surveillance equipment, because they’re so freakin’ huge. Any one of those sensors could spy on an entire town at once. There’s even enough space on board the airship to process all that data in the sky, easing the burden on overloaded intelligence analysts.
Read every word of Noah's amazing piece, which concerns an intramilitary feud between the Air Force's mega-blimp, the Blue Devil, and the Army's Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV). The Senate Armed Services Committee is asking why Congress needs to fund both of them. Hardly an unfair question!