Turkey to Develop Surveillance Balloons for Border Protection

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April 13, 2017 | Originally published by Date Line: April 13 on

ANKARA, Turkey — Military electronics specialist Aselsan, Turkey’s largest defense company, is developing two different types of surveillance and reconnaissance balloons — also called mini-zeppelins — to mainly be used along the country’s southeastern borders with Iraq and Syria.

The balloons are expected to function like Lockheed Martin’s Persistent Threat Detection System, a tethered aerostat-based system in use by the U.S. Army since 2004. The PTDS is equipped with multimission sensors to provide long endurance intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and communications, and was in support of coalition forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.