The Balloon Goes Up For Army and Marines

by Nathaniel R. Helms

After a 60-year hiatus, the U.S. Army is back in the balloon business.
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Army Purchases 16 More TCOM Aerostats for Iraq

TCOM, L.P. has been awarded a contract to provide the army with sixteen 17M™ Tactical Aerostat Systems to support our troops during ongoing hostilities in Iraq.

$48.4M for Rapid Aerostat Deployment System (updated)

The JLENS is a set of radars and sensors mounted on an aerostat blimp and capable of networking via Cooperative Engagement Capability to enhance both air and missile defense. And a recent Air Force Study gave the thumbs-up to greater use of blimps in the U.S. military.

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Missile Defense Agency – For Your Information – 05-FYI-0500

Radome Successfully Installed On Sea-Based X-Band Radar

TCOM, in support of ILC Dover, assisted in the final assembly, checkout and test of the Radome in TCOM’s Manufacturing and Flight Test Facility. In addition, TCOM designed and built specialized heat sealers and hardware components for the Radome and assisted ILC Dover in the structural analysis of the newly developed fabric and Radome base ring.

$14M+ for Blimps in Iraq external link 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) external link, is a TCOM 32M Aerostat that…

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Press Release

TCOM successfully introduced and demonstrated the 17M™ Tactical Aerostat System at IDEX 2005, 7th International Defence Exhibition & Conference, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The 17M™ Tactical Aerostat System flew EO/IR and Radar payloads daily at IDEX providing live coverage of the mobility and maritime demonstrations.

Silent Sentinels In The Sky

EventTCOM will be exhibiting its products at IDEX 2005, in partnership with the UAE Air Force UAV Research and Technology Center 7th International Defence Exhibition & Conference, in Abu Dhabi , United Arab Emirates . The conference will be held February 12 through 17 at the Abu Dhabi Exhibitions Centre. At IDEX, we are introducing our 17M™ Tactical Aerostat System. Come visit us for one of our daily demonstrations of the aerostat system flying EO/IR and Radar payloads. In addition, visit our booth, 4510, in the USA Pavilion and B7 in the UAE Pavilion, to view live payload data linked remotely from our aerostat system. We look forward to seeing you there!

– by Brian Walters

Classified Naval Study to Float Blimps Near Kauai

The Navy plans to collect environmental data from a blimp high above the waters north of Kauai as part of a classified study.

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U.S. Army fields new surveillance tool to protect troops in Afghanistan

U.S. military officials contend that this prototype system has already helped avoid casualties. The Army is now considering buying more aerostat-mounted sensors built by TCOM. These include 17-meter-long, 37-meter-long and 71-meter-long systems. All systems will feature a mobile mooring station enabling them to move with the troops.

Kuwait – Aerostat Radar System

In December 2011, TCOM, LP  in Columbia, MD received a $10.4 million firm-fixed-price contract for the Kuwait Low Altitude Surveillance System aerostat’s contractor engineering technical support (CETS). While the aerostat itself could be handled by commercial sale protocols, CETS operation and maintenance of the KLASS aerostat is considered to be a Foreign Military Sale item, in pursuit of a “mission essential asset for this sensitive region of the world.” Work will be performed in Kuwait (90%); Columbia, MD (5%); and Elizabeth City, NC (5%), and is expected to be complete by December 2013. Kuwait directed its agents at US Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, VA to sole-source this buy (M67854-12-C-2404)

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