09/08/2012 13:59 BST | Updated 09/10/2012 10:12 BST

US Army 'Spy Blimp' LEMV Spotted Above New Jersey (VIDEO)

The military really does come up with some rather excellent technology - even if opinions differ about the way that it can be used.

Already this week we've learned about the new US Army training sim that will include scenarios with female suicide bombers.

Now we - or specifically New Jersey - have something new to worry about.

The US Army's Long Endurance (and long-delayed...) Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV, or 'spy blimp' to you and me) has made a major test flight over the Garden State, proving that it can take off and land smoothly.

Despite several delays, the blimp is set to enter combat trials in 2013, in Afghanistan.

At 300 feet long, the ship can hover for three weeks at a time.

It uses just 10% of the fuel used by aeroplanes, and can carry a wealth of electronic equipment. It can be manned or operated remotely, like the now familiar drones used by the US and others.

Eventually the LEMV is intended to be used as a reconnaissance vehicle, capturing intelligence on the battlefield and staying aloft and a lost stationary for long periods.

The Northrup Grumman-designed ship may even be used to carry up to seven tons of supplies and cargo in the meantime - even though it can only move at 30mph. But while it's slow, the blimp can travel a long way on little fuel - as much as 2,400 miles with a full cargo load.

The company said that 12 people could operate and deploy a fleet of 18 spy blimps in a combat situation.