Armed Forces

Polish Armed Forces Will Create Aerostat Battalion to Detect Cruise Missiles

Israeli EL/M-2083 Aerostat.
Photo. IAI

Sandomierz Military Recruitment Center announced a plan to establish an aerostats-based radar battalion, within the framework of the process aimed at enhancing radar capabilities - as a part of the development of the Polish Armed Forces. The release was issued via X.

The Center also announced that the first radar post would be established in July 2026. Back in May, the Armament Agency announced that a request was submitted to the US, regarding the delivery of four aerostats to watch over the Polish airspace, within the framework of the long-overdue Barbara programme. That would greatly enhance the Polish SIGINT capabilities, without the necessity to continuously keep AEW platforms orbiting the airspace - reducing the wear and tear of such airframes and keeping the cost of executing tasks as such low.

The procurement of aerostats within the Barbara programme has been in preparation since at least 2017 (with conceptual effort started even earlier). The importance of that programme, also within the context of airspace surveillance for NATO was mentioned during the Defence24 DAY conference, by the Air Force Inspector, brig. gen. Ireneusz Nowak. These systems are needed, as they can track low-flying threats (as the radar is airborne), and stay in the air over longer periods, ensuring continuous capability to detect targets such as the Kh-55 missile found near Bydgoszcz, and other, similar threats.

Collaborative Effort: Jakub Palowski