The IDF recently acquired an advanced system capable of pinpointing rocket-launching crews and hitting them, Israel Radio reported Monday. The system, an airborne observation blimp, hovers at a height of up to one kilometer and can work during daylight and during the night. It is equipped with both cameras and radars and is operated from the ground.
It is capable of acquiring short-term intelligence, such as the location of terrorists and rocket launchers in a short time, which can then be delivered to combat troops almost in real time. It is also capable of following troop movements thus alerting them to dangers within their radius.
Rafael, Israel's Armaments Development Authority produces such aerostat-borne systems designated Tactical Aerostat Observation System (TAOS). A new Mini-TAOS version carrying a stabilized payload can detect and recognize a walking person at a range of 3.8 - 4.5 km in day and night. It uses a helium filled aerostat, a two way communication fiber optic data link, payloads (CCD-TV, IR sensors and radar, laser rangefinder and laser illuminator are optional) and ground segment aerostat-borne systems designated Tactical Aerostat Observation System (TAOS). In other reports, Controp Precision Technologies has delivered its 'Speed-A' automated image processing, stabilized electro-optical payload system which has already been deployed with IDF units along the Gaza border. The 'Speed-A' sensor payload includes a daylight color and thermal imager (FLIR), both equipped with continuous zoom, a laser rangefinder and laser target marker.