Report: Govt Seeks to Bring ISR Blimps from Afghanistan to Mexico Border

U.S. Army photo

The U.S. military, in partnership with border officials, will test fly an unmanned surveillance airship over South Texas in the coming weeks to see if it can detect drug trafficking and find people trying to enter the U.S. illegally, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Similar types of blimps were used in Afghanistan to find insurgents, Dion Nissenbaum reports.

Border officials are also testing translation devices for use at crossings and sensors to monitor a 10-mile diameter over multiple days, according to the report.

Nissenbaum reports the military is seeking to find alternative uses for military hardware set to return from Afghanistan.

Border officials are receiving the blimps and ground equipment for free and if the tests are successful, the Department of Homeland Security could get $27 million worth of hardware, the report said.

The blimps cost between $1 million and $5 million each, according to Nissenbaum.

Northrop Grumman and the Army recently tested the company’s version of an unmanned surveillance blimp, flying it over the New Jersey skies for close to 90 minutes.

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