Drones vs. balloonsIsrael deploys tracking system to fight incendiary balloons and kites

Published 22 June 2018

Israel’s famed military prowess has come up against a decidedly low-tech adversary, the humble party balloon, and found itself thwarted. Over the past few weeks, the residents of the Gaza Strip have let loose a barrage of colorful kites with burning tails as well as festive balloons, sometimes condoms, with fuel-soaked strips of cloth. They land inside Israeli territory, often starting serious fires. Israel has now deployed a system to track balloons and kites carrying burning material across the border.

Israel has deployed a system to track balloons and kites carrying burning material across the border from Gaza, The Times of Israel reported Thursday [also see stories in the Financial Times and Deutsche Welle]..

The tracking system, called Sky Spotter, was developed Rafael Advanced Defense Systems as a countermeasure to be used against small drones. According to Israel’s Hadashot news program, the system has been deployed in recent days. Sky Spotter is being used to locate and track balloons and plot their likely destination giving firefighter the opportunity to be in position to extinguish the flames before they have a chance to cause much damage.

Sky Spotter can also direct small drones to collide with the kites and balloons to bring them down.

The IDF reported earlier this week, “Over the last 75 days Hamas has flown approximately 700 arson kites and incendiary balloons towards Israeli civilians. In the process, they have started more than 400 fires and burned 6100 acres of land, jeopardizing Israeli livelihoods and targeting Israel’s food supply. However, it’s more than that. These kites and balloons have cost Israelis millions of dollars and could have cost Israeli lives.”

This article is published courtesy of The Tower