CHINA SECURITY: Abandoned US Weapon Project Now Being Developed by Chinese Military

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A concept image shows the Yuangmeng (Dream) high-altitude airship, currently being developed by the Chinese regime. The airship appears to be based on an abandoned U.S. defense project. (People’s Daily)

 

 

In the early 2000s, the arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin began designing near-space platforms to work alongside U.S. satellites.

The program began amid concerns in the defense community that such platforms would eventually be necessary for the survival of the U.S. intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems that rely on satellites.

Yet, like many other U.S. weapons systems that anticipate near-future threats, the project was cast to the wayside through budget cuts and a sense of hubris that the United States was far enough ahead of its adversaries to not worry. Continue reading

China Tests its Largest Airship

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This concept art shows China’s 18,000 cubic meter Yuanmeng airship 20km above the ground (and for some reason, off the coast of the Mid Atlantic U.S.). One of the highest flying airships, the Yuanmeng can provide wide area surveillance and communications capability.

 

On October 13, 2015, China started the 24 hour test flight of its largest airship yet in Xilinhot, Inner Mongolia. The Yuanmeng has a volume of 18,000 cubic meters, length of 75 meters and 22 meters height. It will fly to 20,000 meters to test its control systems and near space flight performance. With solar panels installed on its top, the Yuanmeng will be one of the largest solar powered airships in existence, using solar power to drive its rotors will save additional weight in order to increase payload. Solar power also gives it a total flight endurance of six months. The Yuanmeng’s 5-7 ton payload of data relays, datalinks, cameras and other sensors would also be powered by the sun. Continue reading