US Military purchases Israeli surveillance balloon.

The Skystar 180, a surveillance balloon developed by Israeli defense start-up RT, has passed the annual Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment to be shortlisted for purchase by the US military.

The Israeli-developed surveillance balloon, Skystar 180, has won a prestigious competition to be approved for purchase by the United States.

After its success in the annual Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment (AEWE), it is on the shortlist of defense products that may be purchased by the US military.

The Skystar 180 aerostat system is a small, highly mobile surveillance system capable of observing targets from a height of 600 meters. Built by Israeli defense firm RT, it was developed to provide intelligence on relatively stationary targets. Thus, it has a wide array of both military and civilian applications, including border security, crowd control at events, and media coverage. It can be deployed by two operators in under 30 minutes, day or night.

“The selection and approval of the Skystar 180 by the US Army is evidence of the system’s quality and its high-level technological capabilities, and it is a great honor for us,” said RT’s CEO, Rami Shmueli. “Our unique aerostat systems are the only long-distance aerial surveillance system that can operate from as high as 600 meters.”

The IDF’s Combat Intelligence Collection Unit made extensive use of the Skystar 180 and 300 along the Gaza border during Operation Protective Edge. The Jerusalem municipality also used the system to restore order last autumn following weeks of Arab violence, including attacks on civilians and the light railway.

RT is an Israeli defense start-up based in Yavne in southern Israel. In light of the importance of the American market, it also maintains an office in Texas. According to the company’s website, its systems are currently deployed in Canada, Mexico, Thailand, Russia, Africa and elsewhere.