UK troops using barrage balloons to spy on Taliban
London: British troops are reportedly using 60 feet-long ‘barrage balloons’ to spy on Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.
Armed with sophisticated cameras, radar and electronic listening devices, the large, unmanned balloons – tethered at over 2,000feet – send live film footage to forward operating bases.
The ‘aerostats’, costing GBP 5 million each, are also used to eavesdrop on insurgents’ mobile phone and radio calls from several miles away.
Images and audio evidence captured by the balloons are sent electronically through secure systems to a mobile monitoring station operated by a Light Electronic Warfare Team (LEWT).
The information is then processed before being sent in encrypted messages to Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) for analysis.
“The Taliban are starting to realise that these barrage balloons can see and hear everything, so the enemy can run but they cannot hide,” The Daily Mail quoted a senior source, as saying.
“Where these have been used, we have seen a reduction in the threat. An added benefit is that the local community feel safer as we quickly make them aware of the balloon’s capabilities.”
“Thus, the aerostat has a deterrent factor on potential adversaries and develops a sense of security among the population, as it watches the area with an unblinking eye – constantly watching areas of suspected insurgent activity,” the source added.
When asked about the technology, a Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesman said: “We cannot comment on specific intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance systems, but we are always striving to provide our troops on the front line with the best technology to help them bring security to Afghanistan.”
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Highlights - India vs England 2nd ODI in Cuttack
- Missed the dance of American President Donald Trump? - Watch it here
- DNA: Manish Sisodia faces CBI probe over alleged irregularities in 'Talk To AK' programme
- Donald Trump to be sworn in as 45th US President today
- Barack Obama thanks Americans for making him a 'better man'
- WATCH: MS Dhoni asks Jasprit Bumrah to go easy after he hurriedly ran out England skipper Eoin Morgan
- Accused of Muslim-bias on visa applications, Sushma Swaraj hits back
- WATCH: How MS Dhoni saved Yuvraj Singh's wicket with another successful DRS review
- India vs England: After Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar gives Piers Morgan cricketing gyan
- Donald Trump's Inauguration Day: As it happened