This is coolbert:
From MARCO POLO through Harry some details of the Chinese military airship Yuanmeng:
"According to a source in China, a huge airship, called 'Yuanmeng', is under development. It is filled with eighteen thousand cubic meters of helium, and can cruise at the height of one hundred kilometers. Its motors and systems are fed by current from huge solar panels on its top. Its crew as well as reconnaissance and communication gears are housed in the gondolas. At this altitude, it is completely safe from enemy aircraft and missiles."
* Manned? This is not clear.
* NOT tethered. Can maneuver.
* Capable of flight to the very edge of space.
First from Popular Science:
1. "China Tests Its Largest Airship"
"On October 13, 2015, China started the 24 hour test flight of its largest airship yet in Xilinhot, Inner Mongolia. The Yuanmeng has a volume of 18,000 cubic meters, a length of 75 meters and a height of 22 meters. It will fly to 20,000 meters to test its control systems and near-space flight performance. With solar panels installed on its top, the Yuanmeng will be one of the largest solar-powered airships in existence. Using solar power to drive its rotors will save additional weight in order to increase payload, and gives it a total flight endurance of six months. The Yuanmeng's 5- to 7-ton payload of data relays, datalinks, cameras and other sensors would also be powered by the sun"
And also from Popular Mechanics:
2. "China's New Spy Airship Hunts Aircraft Carriers From the Edge of Space"
. . . .
"The airship works via a combination of lighter-than-air gases and electricity. Helium lifts the ship to the near-space region (65,000 to 328,000 feet). Once Yuanmeng is at altitude, solar panels mounted on the surface provide electrical power to propellers that guide the airship into position. Solar power is ideal for high-altitude drones and airships because it reduces the need for an internal fuel supply, reducing the overall size of the aircraft and freeing it from the task of carrying its own fuel"
The American military has already both the ASAT and Aegis cruiser Standard missile both more than capable of shooting down this Chinese airship. Do not think Yuanmeng to be impervious to attack.
THAT MILITARY AIRSHIP HISTORICALLY NOT SUCH A GREAT SUCCESS! FOR LIMITED AND CLEARLY DEFINED PURPOSES SUITABLE BUT HAVING DRAWBACKS THAT MITIGATES EFFICIENCY. GOOD ON PAPER BUT OFTEN NOT MUCH MORE BEYOND THAT.