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HAHL Conference - Long Endurance Multi-payload Vehicle (LEMV)

There is currently a RFP for the implementation of a hybrid air vehicle as a high-altitude, Long-Endurance Multi-Payload Vehicle (LEMV). RFP has been issued under the Joint Urgent Operational Need (JUON) Process for a Persistent Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform. Objectives are to provide a vehicle with: • a range of 2500 miles • Operational ceiling of 25,000 feet • Disposable payload at that height of 2500lbs • Cruise speed of 20kts, and a dash speed of 80kts • Endurance for 30 days (?) • Operating cost significantly lower than other ISR vehicles (eg Predator or manned ISR Vehicles) The LEMV Contract must be a complete solution, including Concept of Operations, associated systems and data processing capabilities for the massive amount of data that LEMV will gather during a long-endurance mission. Because the LEMV Source Selection Contract is in progress, and both consortiums (Lockheed Martin on one hand, and Northrop Grumman with their partners on the other) were present at the conference, there was a limitation on what could be discussed. Source: Notes taken at the Hybrid Airships for Heavy Lift Conference 31 March to 1 April 2010.

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I realize we probably all know much of this already, but for the record: The LEMV contract was won by the team led by Northrop Grumman, which includes Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd. In the wake of this contract award, HAV hired approximately 95 new employees and are proceeding with this fast-track contract activity. At the time of writing, NGC/HAV have completed the design, most of the fabrication and have started physical integration of the LEMV prototype at Lakehurst, NJ. They are aiming for a first flight within the next couple of months. Source: Various meetings and discussions with employees of both NGC and HAV over the last several months.

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