Naval Air System Command's Airship Advanced Development program office is the current source of information, advice, contract management, and development assistance for a number of projects related to airships. Among them is the Joint Chiefs of Staff (J-4 Mobility Division) investigation into the military utility of hybrid aircraft. Hybrids are lighter-than-air vehicles that never actually fly light. They operate free of one of the primary objections to "blimps"—the need for an agile ground crew to aid in flight termination (restraining it and adjusting ballast during the off-loading of passengers and cargo).
Lift for a hybrid aircraft is shared between helium and aerodynamics by shaping the envelope to resemble a lifting body. The lift ratio in one design is 70% static from helium and 30% dynamic from the air flow induced by forward motion. When coupled with proven air-cushion hover technology, the craft can operate from land and sea, independent of airports. Such a true triphibian would have much potential for the U.S. armed forces.