The development of airships Pentagon is on two fronts. On the one hand, are small cheap balloons and airships tactical, on the other hand - are working on the design of stratospheric airships strategic purpose.
In early 2005, the U.S. military announced the tests on the proving ground in Arizona mini-balloon «Combat SkySat Phase 1, which allowed to contact ground services at a distance of 320 km. Mass of the mini-balloon about 2 kg, the mass production cost may be about 2000 USD.
In the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration Telecommunications Company «Globetel» applied for a test flight of the airship «Stratellite» with the telecommunications platform on board to support communications in an area of about 800 thousand km ².
Perhaps, the airship will be used and developed by Americans program Future Combat Systems. It is using airships highest duty U.S. plans to transfer technology to the places of military conflicts. In 2005, the Agency Defense Advanced Research Projects Pentagon's (DARPA) announced a program of construction of super-heavy transport airship «Walrus» with the capacity from 500 to 1000 tons. Range should be about 22 thousand km, which he had to overcome a week (this program was discontinued in 2006). DARPA is also commissioned by the U.S. Air Force conducted a survey to develop reconnaissance balloon capable of operating at the upper boundary of the stratosphere, that is, at a height of about 80 km. In fact, it will be suborbital vehicle.
In February 2005, in Iraq, the Pentagon has tested airship «MARTS» (Marine Airborne Re-Transmission Systems), which is equipped with equipment that allows to communicate with units within a radius of 180 km. He is able to withstand winds up to 90 km / h and within two weeks to hang in the air without ground support.
The American company «JP Aerospace» preparing for testing 53-meter long V-shaped airship «Ascender». The first flight provides lift to a height of about 30 km and return to earth. In case of successful tests the Pentagon suggests the possibility of open funding to build a large three-kilometer V-shaped airship Stratospheric destination.