U.S. Army Airship Completes Historic Flight
First flight of the Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J., Aug. 10, 2012
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J., Aug. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Northrop
Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) and Hybrid Air Vehicles Limited announce the
successful completion of the first flight of the U.S. Army's Long Endurance
Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) in historic Lakehurst, N.J., the birthplace
of the nation's storied military airship past.
The LEMV, a first-of-its-kind airship, took to the sky at 6:49 p.m. Eastern
time and flew for more than 90 minutes over Lakehurst Naval Air Station.
In the shadows of the century old Hangar One, this major milestone represents
the commencement of the flight test program, and demonstrates that Northrop
Grumman and its industry partners have successfully developed the world's
largest, most-persistent, lighter-than-air optionally piloted aircraft.
Photos accompanying this release are available at:
"The entire U.S. Army/Northrop Grumman industry team has done an outstanding
job working through a technically challenging program, demonstrating strong
teamwork to achieve this first flight milestone," said Alan Metzger, vice
president and program manager of Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle and
Airships for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "This platform will establish
a new standard for a long-endurance, persistent intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance (ISR) capability over the battlefield."
In an environment of tight budgets and acquisition reform, the U.S.
Army/Northrop Grumman team successfully demonstrated its nontraditional
approach in the execution of this technically challenging program.
LEMV was designed, built and flown in a short 24 months, a considerable
accomplishment for a vehicle of this scale and complexity.
LEMV will provide unprecedented ISR capabilities to the U.S. Army in the form
of an "unblinking stare" over ground troops, ranging anywhere from one day to
multiple weeks. The endurance ability of the LEMV system comes from a design
that is built around Hybrid Air Vehicles Limited's HAV304 aircraft design and
Northrop Grumman's open system architecture design, which provides a modular
and flexible payload capability along with room for mission expansion and
"Our air vehicle technology will allow the LEMV program to deliver ISR with
unprecedented long endurance capability. The successful first flight of the
vehicle demonstrates the readiness of hybrid air vehicle technology to serve
military needs," said Gary Elliott, chief executive officer of Hybrid Air
As the prime contractor, Northrop Grumman is responsible for the overall
system development and integration, development and implementation of the open
system architecture, unmanned flight control software, mission system flight
and ground operations, and maintenance and field support for worldwide
Northrop Grumman's industry team includes Hybrid Air Vehicles Limited of the
U.K. for the air vehicle design, Warwick Mills for fabric development, ILC
Dover for hull fabrication and seaming, AAI Corporation for air vehicle
control through its Universal Ground Control Station, SAIC for full-motion
video exploitation, and a team of technology leaders from more than 18 U.S.
states and at least three countries.
"ILC Dover is pleased to have been given the opportunity to participate in the
development and fabrication of the LEMV envelope structure. This has been a
challenging program, and we are glad we were able to assist Northrop Grumman
and the U.S. Army in its success" said Gilbert Baird, senior product line
manager for ILC Dover.
The Army lead for the technology development is the U.S. Army Space and
Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command. The Army Office of the
Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence is responsible for the LEMV operational
Hybrid Air Vehicles Limited is based in Cranfield, U.K., and provides a range
of hybrid air vehicles and associated services for surveillance and heavy lift
applications to government and commercial customers. Please visit
www.hybridairvehicles.net for more information.
Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative
systems, products and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information
systems, and technical services to government and commercial customers
worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.
SOURCE Northrop Grumman Corporation
Contact: Gregory B. Harland, +1-321-951-5053, email@example.com
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