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US approves USD1.2 billion aerostat sale to Poland

Poland has requested a minimum of four aerostat systems to support the detection and monitoring of air and ground threats, including UAVs. The US currently deploys Tethered Aerostat Radar Systems (pictured) to support airborne border surveillance along the US Mexico border and select Caribbean areas. (US Air Force photo by GS-11 Deb H; USA) (US DoD)

The US State Department has approved a possible sale of Airspace and Surface Radar Reconnaissance (ASRR) aerostat systems to Poland on 7 February for an estimated USD1.2 billion.

According to an announcement by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the sale comprises ASRR, airborne early warning (AEW) radars with identification friend-or-foe (IFF) capabilities, electronic sensor systems, mooring systems with powered tether and embedded fibre optics, and ground control systems (GCS) as well as associated hardware, training, technical, and logistical support.

Poland intends to use the capability as an AEW system to defend against incoming regional threats, the announcement detailed.

Raytheon Intelligence & Space, ELTA North America, and Avantus Federal LLC will be the primary contractors.

While the number of aerostat systems being procured was not detailed in the DSCA announcement, a request for information (RFI) issued in June 2022 relating to this procurement noted that Poland was interested in a minimum of four integrated aerostats. The aerostats will be used to support persistent day/night detection, tracking, and monitoring of diverse air and ground threats, including the low radar cross-section of unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) and low-flying inbound aircraft.

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