Airships for military logistics heavy lift

Ahmed Ghanmi; Abderrahmane Sokri; DRDC CORA TM 2010–011; Defence R&D Canada – CORA; January 2010.


To maintain its sovereignty over its Northern region, Canada will need to develop enforcement and surveillance capabilities for the Arctic. In particular, a logistics heavy lift capability would be required to support the deployment and sustainment of the Canadian Forces (CF) in remote austere environments in the North. While the CF has procured a fleet of CC-177 and CC-130J aircraft for strategic and tactical lift respectively, these assets can land only in a few Northern airfields due to the runway requirements. Airships are being considered by the CF as possible platforms to address deficiencies in logistics heavy lift for Northern operations. An airship, also known as a dirigible, is a selfpropelled lighter-than-air aircraft with directional control surfaces. Unlike an airplane, the lift for an airship is generated aerostatically by the buoyancy of a lifting gas. Airships could provide a cost-effective point-to-point delivery capability and could mitigate several limitations (e.g., infrastructure requirements) associated with other forms of transport.

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