U.S. Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command is planning to deploy an autonomous, free-flying, surveillance AirShip over the skies of Afghanistan by the year 2011.The Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV), as it’s called, will be 250 feet long, autonomous, and able to float at up to 20,000 feet for an impressive three weeks at a time. As for its surveillance capabilities, a 40-foot-long stretch behind the cockpit will house a selection of spy gear, including a motion sensor and radar.

While the LEMV has yet to be built — the contract itself won’t be awarded until October 1 — you can get a pretty good idea of the colossal scope of this airship via the below video of Lockheed Martin’s P-791, which provided the inspiration for the LEMV.

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