Poland to Sign $1.2B Early Warning Radar Balloon Contract

The Polish government will sign the Barbara aerostat reconnaissance program procurement contract this month, the country’s armament procurement agency head said.

“In mid-May, in a dozen or so days at the latest, the contract for the ‘Barbara’ aerostats will be signed,” Polsat News wrote earlier this week, citing General Artur Kuptel.

He said a few elements need to be finalized before the signing.

$1.2 Billion Procurement

The estimated $1.2-billion Airspace and Surface Radar Reconnaissance aerostat systems have already been cleared for procurement by the US

The purchase includes airborne early warning radars with identification friend-or-foe capabilities, electronic sensors, ground control systems, and mooring systems with powered tethers and embedded fiber optics.

The primary contractors are Raytheon Intelligence & Space, ELTA North America, and Avantus Federal LLC.

Suspended Radars

According to General Kuptel, the aerostat suspended radars will monitor the sky as far as Ukraine, Belarus, and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad from Polish air space.

They can detect low-flying objects such as cruise missiles and those with a low-radar cross section such as stealth aircraft.

“An object that is in close proximity to a ground station or the curvature of the Earth itself causes us to have a shadow in which the object can move without feeling threatened and unable to fight. In this case, this element is eliminated,” Kuptel told Polsat News.

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