The Israeli Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) says it has begun tests with an extra large aerostat that will carry sensors for missile defense.
The elevated sensor system is dubbed the High Availability Aerostat System (HAAS) and is designed to detect incoming threats, thanks to a combination of a high availability aerostat system and an advanced radar.
The aerostat will enhance a range of missile defense systems already in service, as well as those currently under development, including an airborne laser system for anti-air defense.
Israel’s defense ministry says the aerostat was developed in cooperation with Israel Aerospace Industries’ ELTA division, which specializes in advanced defense and intelligence electronics.
Worth noting is the fact that the radar system was developed under a cooperative program between IMDO and the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA).
MDA said the HAAS was one of the world’s largest aerostats and will provide additional detection and early warning capabilities to the existing operational air defense detection array deployed around Israel.
“During recent months, in several flight test campaigns, we have demonstrated Israel’s multi-tier missile defense array’s outstanding capabilities against advanced threats including cruise missiles. This aerostat system will cruise at high altitude and provide an exceptional multi-directional detection capability against advanced threats including cruise missiles,” IMDO director Moshe Patel said.
“The elevated sensor is another great example of cooperation between the Missile Defense Agency, IMDO, and industry partners. The co-developed technology and research is a benefit to both nations. Additionally, this system will further enhance Israel’s advanced threat detection capabilities to maintain Israel’s qualitative military edge,” MDA Director Vice Adm. Jon Hill said.
Israel is not the first country to leverage aerostat technology to improve the range and efficiency of its radar systems. The US armed forces have been using such area surveillance solutions for years to protect their forward operating bases, while Germany is currently working on procuring a similar system.