New Delhi: After the Indian Air Force it may be Indian Navy's turn to acquire aerostat radars in a bid to plug vital gaps in coastal security. According to reports, the navy may be sanctioned the purchase of these Israeli radars, given the heightened security consciousness post-Mumbai terror attacks.
The balloon-mounted air defence radars have a detection range of over 500 km and are capable of tracking low-flying aircraft.
According to reports, the Navy is likely to sign a deal to acquire two EL/M-2083 aerostat radars from Israel shortly.
The aerostat radars are mounted on a hot-air balloon which is tethered to the ground. They will provide the Navy 3-D coverage in a radius of 500 km. It is estimated that three aerostat radars will provide seamless coverage for the entire western coast.
The aerostat radars will supplement the ground- based radars already in operation.
A unique advantage that aerostat radars provides lies in the fact that they are extremely mobile and can easily be moved to nay location given threat perceptions of the moment.
The IAF currently operates two aerostat radars and reports suggest that atleast four more are on order from Israel to boost air-defences.