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Israel deploys state-of-the-art 'Sky Dew' at Lebanon border as tensions rise with Hezbollah group

Israel's Sky Dew balloon acts as radar technology that helps in the detection of small unmanned aircrafts and missiles. The deployment of Sky Dew along the Israel-Lebanon border signals possible military escalation with the Hezbollah group.

Israel deploys state-of-the-art 'Sky Dew' at Lebanon border as tensions rise with Hezbollah group avv
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First Published Jan 8, 2024, 4:08 PM IST

Israel is slowly coming to the conclusion of facing a multi-front war with its neighboring countries. The last few weeks if anything have confirmed Israel's concerns which date back to the 1960’s. Attacks from Syria and Lebanon have exposed Israel to a multi-front conflict which may soon turn into a multi-front war. 

The Israel Defence Forces in their preparedness against Hezbollah have deployed Sky Dew along the Lebanon border. Sky Dew is a massive balloon-like structure in the shape of a puffed aircraft. The high-altitude observation balloon acts as a detection radar blip for small unmanned aircraft and cruise missiles.

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The technology has been jointly developed by the Israel Defense and US company TCOM. The project was entirely funded by the U.S. Department of Defence. Sky Dew has been developed to counter small unmanned aircraft and cruise missiles from Syria and Iran. The Israel Air Force was handed over the Sky Dew in 2022.

However, due to the increased threat from Hezbollah, Israel recently deployed its state-of-the-art piece, Sky Dew along the Lebanon border. The technology will be helpful as it becomes harder for large-scale radars to detect small unmanned aircraft and missiles including drones. Iran has recently specialized in drone-making technology to take on Israel. It has sold and also provided drones in the form of aid to militant groups in Lebanon and Syria. 

Israel, due to financial constraints, decided against buying U.S’ AWACS radar-carrying aircraft. Instead, they have relied on and deployed cheaper Hawkeye aircraft and the Nachshon aircraft. The radar technology on these aircraft is more advanced than AWACS which provides a better and cheaper alternative. Even the operational cost of AWACS in an hour is nearly $40,000.

On the other hand, the Sky Dew balloon's operational cost is very low and it can sustain without fuel for hours. It operates at an altitude of 10,000 feet and can carry 7,000 pounds. It can spot the small and cheap unmanned vehicles in which Iran has recently specialised. However, it is easily detectable from afar.

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