The Navy plans to collect environmental data from a blimp high above the waters north of Kauai as part of a classified study.
U.S. military officials contend that this prototype system has already helped avoid casualties. The Army is now considering buying more aerostat-mounted sensors built by TCOM. These include 17-meter-long, 37-meter-long and 71-meter-long systems. All systems will feature a mobile mooring station enabling them to move with the troops.
In December 2011, TCOM, LP in Columbia, MD received a $10.4 million firm-fixed-price contract for the Kuwait Low Altitude Surveillance System aerostat’s contractor engineering technical support (CETS). While the aerostat itself could be handled by commercial sale protocols, CETS operation and maintenance of the KLASS aerostat is considered to be a Foreign Military Sale item, in pursuit of a “mission essential asset for this sensitive region of the world.” Work will be performed in Kuwait (90%); Columbia, MD (5%); and Elizabeth City, NC (5%), and is expected to be complete by December 2013. Kuwait directed its agents at US Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, VA to sole-source this buy (M67854-12-C-2404)