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    America Won't Float Its Giant Terrifying Spy Blimp Over Afghanistan After All

    Written by

    Brian Merchant

    Senior Editor

    Apologies Afghanistan, it appears that you will not have the pleasure of a 100-meter spy blimp floating over you, observing in detail the minutia of your citizens’ daily lives. Too bad.

    Inside Defense reports that the Army’s Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) has been terminated for cost and schedule-related reasons:

    The reason likely has to do with the program being behind schedule and over budget ... LEMV's fate -- particularly its intended deployment to Afghanistan -- has been in question since earlier last year. The window to send the airship to the battlefield is closing as U.S. troops prepare for a withdrawal in 2014. The airship was once scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan in December 2011.

    And now it’s been deflated. Just after it had logged its first successful test-float, too.

    The Navy Times reports that the LEMV program cost $517 million, and the product was a seven-story blimp that may or may not be able to stay aloft for three weeks at a time; we’ll never know now, I suppose. The LEMV is the third major blimp program to get shut down, each of which cost millions and millions of dollars. It seems that this was destined to remain but a dream:

    Wow, $500 million is a lot of money for a failed piece of technology. It’s the same amount of money that the government spent on Solyndra, for instance. I wonder if conservatives will go apeshit over the wasted money on a dumb blimp, too? Of course not; it was supposed to help the military spy on and kill anti-American terrorist anti-Americans, as opposed to creating clean, sustainable energy, so its heart was in the right place.

    And fear not, fans of pointless giant military drone blimps: Apparently, the $2 billion missile defense blimp, Raytheon’s JLENS, is still on the table after successfully managing to blow up a missile in a test run, years behind schedule. So, yeah. Long live the multibillion dollar military blimp, I guess.

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