Israel on Wednesday announced the military has begun the deployment of new so-called "surveillance blimps" along Israel's northern frontier.
The Defense Ministry said the "Tel Shamayam" (Hebrew for Sky Dew) will assist security forces with the detection and tracking of both aerial and ground threats in the region.
The system appears to be one of the largest of its kind in the world and was developed as part of a joint program between the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) and the American Agency for Missile Defense and TCOM - a U.S. defense firm that specializes in airborne surveillance.
Its dedicated radar system was developed by the Israel Aerospace Industries.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz congratulated the participating bodies on “another technological breakthrough that will strengthen the defense of Israel’s skies and Israeli citizens.”
“The success of the new system fortifies the wall of defense that Israel has built in the face of the distant and imminent air threats being built by its enemies. Through the detection capabilities, and the multi-layered defense system, Israel’s advantage in the area will be preserved, and the operational scope required to maintain its security will be enabled,” he added.
Moshe Fatal, head of the IMDO in the Defense Ministry's Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological, said the system has proven its ability to detect advanced aerial threats, among them cruise missiles.
He also said the aerial detection balloon will sail at high altitudes, will observe long distances and will allow maximum detection capability of advanced threats from different directions.
TPS contributed to this report