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The Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) in the Directorate of Defense R&D of the Israel Ministry of Defense commenced inflation of a High Availability Aerostat System (HAAS) and initial testing for deployment of an Elevated Sensor (ES) system in Northern Israel at facilities established by the MOD, according to a press release by the organisation.

Following years of development and manufacturing, IMDO, the Israeli Air Force and ELTA (Israel Aerospace Industries‘ subsidiary and prime contractor for the ES programme) began initial inflation operations. The HAAS is described as one of the world’s largest aerostats, developed and manufactured by TCOM, a US company specialising in aerostat surveillance solutions. It is designed to carry an improved sensing system, to provide detection and early warning of threats.

The ES system is comprised of the HAAS and an advanced radar designed to detect incoming threats at long ranges when operating at high altitudes. It is to provide additional detection and early warning capabilities to the existing operational air defence detection array deployed around Israel. This radar system was developed under a cooperative programme between IMDO and the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA).