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Blimps & LTA Craft | Budgets | DARPA | Issues - International | New Systems Tech | Official Reports | Policy - Procurement | USA

US CBO Gives OK to HULA Airships for Airlift

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(click to view full) Imagine an aircraft that could lift 1-2 million pounds of cargo, then fly it up to 12,000 miles nonstop without needing a runway to land on. DARPA has. DID has too via our in-depth coverage of their WALRUS HULA (Hybrid Ultra Large Aircraft) airship program. Now a new congressional report is imagining it as well. The WALRUS may be an airship, but isn’t exactly a traditional blimp. The Army Times reports that the Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan analytical arm of the US Congress, “likes the heavy-lift airship concept because it could do more than the airlift aircraft and surge sealift capabilities currently used when U.S. forces deploy.” DID went and found that report, which offers some interesting conclusions. “Options for Strategic Military Transportation Systems” notes that developing and buying 15 WALRUS-class airships and operating them for 30 years would cost about $11 billion over 30 years, roughly as much as the 21 additional C-17s the USAF is seeking. The report then goes on to note that even at their lowest level of desired performance (500 tons capacity), this set of aircraft would be able to deliver 3 times as much cargo per day as 21 […]

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