DefenseTech.org external link reports that the U.S. Marines are beginning to use aerostats (a.k.a. tethered blimps) as communications relays in Iraq. The Marine Airborne Re-Transmission Systems (MARTS) external link, is a TCOM 32M Aerostat that…
TCOM successfully introduced and demonstrated the 17M™ Tactical Aerostat System at IDEX 2005, 7th International Defence Exhibition & Conference, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The 17M™ Tactical Aerostat System flew EO/IR and Radar payloads daily at IDEX providing live coverage of the mobility and maritime demonstrations.
EventTCOM will be exhibiting its products at IDEX 2005, in partnership with the UAE Air Force UAV Research and Technology Center 7th International Defence Exhibition & Conference, in Abu Dhabi , United Arab Emirates . The conference will be held February 12 through 17 at the Abu Dhabi Exhibitions Centre. At IDEX, we are introducing our 17M™ Tactical Aerostat System. Come visit us for one of our daily demonstrations of the aerostat system flying EO/IR and Radar payloads. In addition, visit our booth, 4510, in the USA Pavilion and B7 in the UAE Pavilion, to view live payload data linked remotely from our aerostat system. We look forward to seeing you there!
– by Brian Walters
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)