In case you were wondering and worried, Pakistan possesses ‘poor man’s version’ of drones
Blimps!! Yessir, Blimps!
They have blimps!
Are you cowering, SDRE? Now their security is impregnable. i.e., can not be punctured (no pun intended)!
So, how do you sell the idea of blimps to an awaam fed on gradiose myths and hell-bent on getting US drones? By pointing out the many obviously positive sides of owning and using a blimp (and yes, in a country where hot air and helium is in full supply). Let me count the ways:
Price: Pakistan is among 20 countries which possess Blimps, the poor man’s version of drone aircraft costing around $50,000 each, as against the price of regular drones which varies between $4.5 million and $35 million. (Hence, they will not be laughed at!)
Operating Costs: Predator and Global Hawk cost around $5,000 and $26,000 an hour while the less elegant Blimps can keep surveillance and ordnance-guiding equipment aloft for a few hundred dollars an hour. (Smart use of the pocket change the world is doling out. And it will generate many jobs.)
Sustainability: As a result, Blimps, adjusted to hover at appropriate heights, are often used to relay data to and from satellites. Blimps can stay in the air for more than a week, whereas most drones fly for no more than 30 hours at a time. (Pooki blimps will outlast the SDRE drones)
Deployability: They are also easy to deploy, because no airfield is needed. (Every house in LaWhore will have one).
Storage: A Blimp can be stored in the back of a jeep, driven to a suitable location, launched in a couple of hours and winched down again even faster.’ (It will be the new cottage industry)
Shape-shifter-ability: Unlike other aircraft, Blimps do not need to form a precise aerodynamic shape. This means they can lift improbable objects into the sky, such as dangling radar equipment. (Aero-dynamic Design expertise not needed)
Strength: At altitudes of just a few hundred metres, a Blimp carrying 20kg of remote-sensing electronics (including radar and thermal-imaging cameras) can identify, track and provide images of combatants dozens of kilometres away, by day or night. It can also help commanders aim the lasers that guide their missiles.’ (What can I say about this one!)
Un-shootability (Impregnable): Blimps often operate beyond the range of machine-guns and rocket-propelled grenades. Even if they are hit, though, they do not explode because the helium gas that keeps them airborne is not flammable. Moreover, they usually stay aloft even when punctured: the pressure of the helium inside a Blimp is about the same as that of the air outside, so the gas does not rush out. Indeed, towards the end of 2004, when a Blimp broke its tether north of Baghdad and started to drift towards Iran, the American air force had trouble shooting it down.’ (see, the Yanks will not be able to shoot our blimps down. We are impregnable)
Global Acceptability: At least 20 countries use Blimps — both global military powers, such as America, Britain and France, and smaller regional ones, including Ireland, Pakistan, Poland and the United Arab Emirates.’ (We won't be the laughing stock of the world)
Deniability: However, the report does not say why the US does not let Islamabad use its own Blimps inside Pakistani territory instead of sending in the costly drones which also cost the government in Islamabad heavily in domestic political terms. (Don't they know we are masters of all trades and jack of none?)
Questionability: And one more question: If it is true that Pakistan has the Blimps then why does Islamabad keep asking the US for drones?
Missed one: Alternate-usability
: Once the wars are over, the blimps can be used to take bird's eye view shots of LaWhore cricket ground. Easy to track terrorists escaping on foot after a shootout.
There! If the above doesn't convince the pooki awaam to stop hankering after the US for drones, then nothing will.