Carolina Unmanned Vehicles, a Raleigh firm focused on blimp-related technology, has won a grant from the U.S. Navy to develop a communications package for the new Littoral Combat Ship (LCS).

The LCS is designed to operate in shallow waters and will be equipped with a variety of unmanned sea, underwater and aerial vehicles. Carolina Unmanned Vehicles is to develop a combination light aerostat system, or tethered blimp, that would also carry a communications package designed to link the LCS to the unmanned vehicles.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The contract was awarded through the Navy’s small business innovative research program.

Carolina Unmanned Vehicles uses a blimp called the Helikite, which is designed to be able to fly in strong wind conditions. The blimp is based on patented technology developed by Allsopp Helikites Ltd., a firm based in Great Britain.