Security contractor Blackwater USA has formed an airships division and begun development of a small remotely piloted surveillance airship. Scheduled to be available by December, the 36.5m (120ft)-long vehicle is designed to operate at 5,000-15,000ft and stay aloft for up to four days, carrying a 135-180kg (300-400lb) payload. North Carolina-based Blackwater, which has major security contracts in Iraq, intends to use the remotely piloted vehicle in its own operations, and plans to develop larger transport airships for humanitarian and peacekeeping missions.

Source: Flight International