“Sky Dew”—a massive blimp-like balloon with an advanced system for detecting incoming missiles and drones—has been deployed somewhere in northern Israel, according to Israeli officials on Tuesday. The Defense Ministry has been testing the system for some time, and now they have turned it over to the Israeli Air Force.
It is a radar-based system deployed at high altitudes. Sky Dew (also known as “Elevated Sensor”) can give early warning by detecting incoming long-range missiles, cruise missiles, and UAVs (drones).
The system is now watching over the skies of northern Israel, where Hezbollah (a terrorist group in Lebanon sponsored by Iran) recently managed to sneak a small drone past Israel’s air defense system. Iran has been steadily supplying its proxies in the region with drones and cruise missiles.
While Israel already has a vast number of radar systems in place, Sky Dew will give the air defense forces an eye high in the sky, thanks to its sensors keeping watch from a high altitude.
Israeli Air Force chief Amikam Norkin said the new system would “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.”
“The ‘Sky Dew’ system was a challenging task that we set for ourselves about a decade ago,” said Moshe Patel, director of Israel’s Missile Defense Organization. “This aerostat system will cruise at high altitudes and provide an exceptional multi-directional detection capability against advanced threats.”
The Sky Dew system is one of the largest of its kind and has been a long-term joint venture between Israel’s Missile Defense Organization and the United States Missile Defense Agency.
In the last few years, the IDF has intercepted at least four Iranian drones intended for Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza Strip.
Photo: IDF credit