Israel Deploys Giant Missile-Detecting Balloon for Air Defense

A giant missile-detecting balloon is now operating over northern Israel to detect incoming long-range missiles, cruise missiles, and drones.

The Israeli Defense Ministry has deployed the “elevated sensor” detection system, called “Sky Dew” after years of testing, officials told The Times of Israel.

Northern Israel is a hotbed for activity, and Sky Dew can pick up from high altitudes under the command of the Israeli air force, according to the report.

Sky Dew will “enable [air traffic control] to build a more accurate and broader air surveillance picture,” and “make the air force more prepared, and assist it in continuing its mission — maintaining security in the skies of Israel,” Israeli’s Air Force chief, Amikam Norkin, told the Times.

Israel Missile Defense Organization (MDO) Director Moshe Patel called Sky Dew “reality-changing.”

“The Sky Dew system was a challenging task that we set for ourselves about a decade ago,” he told the Times. “This aerostat system will cruise at high altitudes and provide an exceptional multidirectional detection capability against advanced threats.”

MDO and the United States’ Missile Defense Agency (MDA) have worked on the project for years.

U.S. MDA Vice Adm. Jon Hill told the Times it gives Israel a “qualitative military edge.”

Israel Defense Forces have intercepted at least four Iranian drones bound for Israel, the West Bank, or the Gaza strip in recent years, according to the Times.

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