Feeds

India to deploy tethered blimp radars

Worried about Tamil Tiger air force

Security for virtualized datacentres

The Indian armed forces are using radar-carrying static balloons to provide an early warning of terrorist air strikes, according to reports.

Much interest has been aroused in defence circles during recent months by the air raids mounted in Sri Lanka by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, or "Tamil Tigers"). The conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the separatist Tigers has normally been seen as a counter-insurgency conflict like many others ongoing around the world, in which relatively well-armed conventional forces battle guerillas who favour tactics such as suicide bombing, ambushes, and assassination.

Many governments, including the US, list the Tigers as a terrorist organisation.

In recent months, however, the Tigers have mounted several bombing raids against targets in Sri Lanka, reportedly using modified light aircraft of Czech manufacture. The Tiger pilots have flown in and out at low altitude, which makes them difficult to detect using ground radars.

India nowadays prefers not to get too involved in the Sri Lankan fighting off its southeastern coast, after suffering a bloody nose during a military intervention and the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi by the Tigers in 1991.

But the Indians are worried that the fighting could come to them, in particular in the form of Tiger air attacks. Lacking a big fleet of AWACS planes or similar conventional-type airborne radar platforms, Indian military planners are thinking outside the box.

India Defence reports that the Indian Air Force will deploy aerostat radars on the southeastern Tamil Nadu coast. The aerostats are tethered blimp-like balloons carrying phased-array radars which can detect approaching aircraft from afar, even if they fly at low level. The IAF purchased two of the EL/M-2083 systems from Israel in 2004, and apparently has been sufficiently pleased with the balloon-borne eyes-in-the-sky that a further four have been ordered.

The aerostats aren't as vulnerable as they might seem; they aren't highly pressurised. This means that they won't burst, and leak only slowly if penetrated. An aerostat will stay up for hours even with its envelope pierced by hostile fire. Filled with helium rather than hydrogen, there's no risk of a Hindenburg style explosion.

Reportedly, small Russian-made ground radars have also been deployed, in particular at the Kalpakkam nuclear plant. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Are you a fat boy? Get to university NOW, you PENNILESS SLACKER
Rotund types paid nearly 20% less than people who didn't eat all the pies
Emma Watson should SHUT UP, all this abuse is HER OWN FAULT
... said an anon coward who we really wish hadn't posted on our website
Japan develops robot CHEERLEADERS which RIDE on BALLS
'Will put smiles on faces worldwide', predicts corporate PR chief
Bruges Booze tubes to pump LOVELY BEER underneath city
Belgian booze pumped from underground
Let it go, Steve: Ballmer bans iPads from his LA Clippers b-ball team
Can you imagine the scene? 'Hey guys, it's your new owner – WTF is that on your desk?'
Oz carrier Tiger Air takes terror alerts to new heights
Don't doodle, it might cost you your flight
Amazon: Wish in one hand, Twit in the other – see which one fills first
#AmazonWishList A year's supply of Arran scotch, ta
Oi, London thief. We KNOW what you're doing - our PRECRIME system warned us
Aye, shipmate, it be just like that Minority Report
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.