Poland to purchase air surveillance aerostats
Poland has made a formal request to purchase aerostats for air surveillance, the Polish defence minister announced on Friday.
"Today we have sent a LOR (Letter of Request - PAP) for the acquisition of 'Barbara' air surveillance aerostats for the Polish Army. We want to maximise our capabilities in the field of radar airborne ground surveillance," Mariusz Blaszczak wrote on Twitter on Friday.
Earlier in the day, Krzysztof Platek, the spokesman for the Armament Agency, told PAP that the aerostats would be one of the elements of the radar surveillance system, which would also include the Saab 340 airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft. Poland plans to acquire two such machines from Sweden, he said.
Platek explained that radars mounted on aircraft and aerostats have an advantage over radars on the ground. They can detect low-flying objects entering Polish airspace which operate below the horizon of ground-based radars.
Surveillance aerostats are stationary aircraft filled with a lighter-than-air gas. Deployed at various locations and equipped with appropriate radars they can monitor Poland's airspace and collect data on low-flying objects.