While land-based surveillance radars are effective against aircraft and missiles operating at medium and high altitudes, the situation is quite different against aircraft and cruise missiles that move close to the ground, so as to take full advantage of masking. terrain or even the roundness of the earth, to reduce the adversary's reaction time and therefore his ability to intercept. To face these threats, it is essential to place a radar in altitude, able to observe the ground without being subjected to the effects. Several systems, such as Hawkeye et Sentry, the famous NATO Awacs, are designed for this purpose, and new platforms, in particular employing medium or high altitude drones, are under development. But when it comes to protecting the territory, another, little-used alternative may prove to be relevant, the use of an aerostat, or captive balloon.
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