MELBOURNE, Fla., Feb. 2 (UPI) -- An international team led by U.S. company Northrop Grumman has completed the initial design review of long-endurance military airships.
The program milestone, one of several, came six months after signing the Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle agreement with the U.S. Army to build three airships with 21-day persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability.
"The entire U.S. Army/Northrop Grumman LEMV industry team has done an outstanding job working through a very aggressive development schedule to achieve all of these important milestones," said Alan Metzger, Northrop Grumman vice president and integrated program team leader of LEMV and airship programs.
"The CDR provided an in-depth review of the complete system design of the program, giving us the opportunity to assess where we are in our development and air vehicle production. It went very well," said Alan Metzger, Northrop Grumman vice president and integrated program team leader of LEMV and airship programs.
"The entire team has been collaborating and remains very focused on meeting our objective of delivering this powerful capability into the hands of our combat commanders as soon as possible."
Metzger said in the next 10 months hull inflation of a test airship will take place as well as first flight.
The team expects final acceptance, long endurance flight testing just before year's end.
Northrop's industry team includes Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd. of Britain, Warwick Mills ILC Dover, AAI Corp., SAIC and a team of technology leaders from 18 U.S. states and three countries.