$14M+ for Blimps in Iraq

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DefenseTech.org 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), will receive signals from ground forces and even pilots through a fiber-optic tether, then transmit messages up to 100 miles away via UHF and VHF radio frequencies. Its kevlar/mylar skin allows it to sustain minor small arms fire and remain afloat. One aerostat, first tested in February, is being deployed to Iraq, a second is being readied, and the Marines are scrounging up $14 million to buy four more....

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