An American city has unveiled its latest crime-fighting weapon – the world’s first CCTV AIRSHIP.
The ‘HB50 Hyperblimp’ is packed with hi-tech military technology to silently hunt for criminals and monitor crime scenes.
Measures 54ft (16.5m) long and 4ft (1.22m) wide, the helium-filled airship can stay aloft for seven hours, has a top speed of 40mph and can float up to 400 ft (122m).
It is being hailed by city officials in Ogden, Utah – 35 miles north of state-capital Salt Lake City – as the latest way to tackle disorder in its crime-ridden neighbourhoods.
The Ogden Police Department is the first metropolitan police force in the world to use the crime-fighting blimp.
They hope to launch the cruise missile-shaped aircraft before Christmas.
The $14,000 (£8,780) blimp is operated by remote control and steers using a battery-powered propeller.
It also comes with a radar transponder and two CCTV cameras and weighs just 30 pounds (13.6kg).
Ogden Mayor Matthew Godfrey said: ”We believe it will be a deterrent to crime when it is out and about and will help us solve crimes more quickly when they do occur.
”The blimp is long but narrow and moves quickly and quietly, meaning it should be fairly undetectable.
”It will be used like a patrol car. It will be used to go and check things out and keep things safe.
”We anticipate using it mainly at night – the cameras have incredible night vision to see with tremendous clarity daytime and night-time.
”Once you understand the capability of the technology as well – not only the cameras but the ability to relay that data from the camera down to ground – it’s amazing.”
The blimp, which is lined with a special coating of fabric, is currently undergoing trials by Weber State University’s Utah Center for Aeronautical Innovation and Design (UCAID).
It will only be allowed to be operated by police officers with pilot’s licenses.
Ogden Police Chief Jon Greiner added: ”The blimp will pan, tilt, zoom and joystick from its planned launch site – the patrol parking lot at the Ogden Public Safety Building.”