Hovering platforms are gaining operational interest in countries that face problems of sealing long section of border lines.

Currently, aerostats are the main “work horse” and they will remain in service for years to come.
In fact , the use of aerostats carrying electro optical payloads but mainly radar systems, has grown dramatically in the last 10 years.

ETOP NewIndia has been deploying aerostats on “sensitive” sections of its borders. The aerostats used were supplied by RAFAEL from Israel.

Recently , the Indian armed forces have channeled budget
for increasing the number of aerostats.
The new competition attracts attention from companies
like BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman,
Thales, Israel Aerospace  Industries(IAI) and
Russia’s Rosoboronexport.  RAFAEL will also bid.

But while the aerostats are still in demand, there is a new system on the market – this is the Electric Tethered Observation Platform (ETOP).

Israel aerospace industries (IAI) is offering its Electric Tethered Observation Platform (ETOP) has a direct substitute for tactical observation aerostats , deployed along borders and near sensitive installations.

IAI is completing the development of the ETOP which will actually become a “family” of very advanced systems in different sizes.

ETOP is an electrically-powered, tethered, airborne platform which can be used for observation, surveillance and other applications. ETOP can either be deployed from a static station, a maritime platform or from a moving ground vehicle. It can carry a payload of up to 30kg and operate up to a maximum altitude of 100 meters. ETOP combines an electrically-powered aerial platform and a ground system which includes the means for automatic deployment, cables and a mission management unit.