RT is an Israeli company that designs and manufactures the SkyStar family of aerostats, for use in intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and communications applications. The company was established by former military intelligence and current CEO Rami Shmueli in 1996 and is currently owned in parts by Shmueli (49%) and the Aeronautics Group (51%). The company headquarters and production lines are based in Yavne, Israel, while the company also has offices in Texas. RT operates a factory in the settlement of Katzrin in the occupied Syrian Golan.
The systems are currently deployed worldwide. As to RT’s website “in countries such as Israel, Afghanistan (by US and Canadian Army), Mexico, Russia, African countries, Colombia, East Asia and more”
RT’s chief client is the Israeli army. The company’s first prototype was developed according to the specific requirements of the Israeli army. At present, the combat intelligence collection unit uses the SkyStar 180 and 300 aerostats for collecting tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The aerostats are provided to the army under a multiyear leasing contract with the Israel Ministry of Defense. In Israel, SkyStar systems are equipped with the Speed-A payload by Controp Company.
RT supplied “SkyStar” surveillance balloons to the Israeli army that have deployed it in consecutive military assaults on Gaza in 2008-2009, 2012 and 2014, during which the Israeli army operated 13 RT balloons. In 2017, RT tested new technology, a SkyStar 110 micro surveillance balloon, in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. In 2018, an identical balloon was documented stationed over a number of Palestinian villages west of Jenin in the West Bank. RT balloons are also stationed on Route 443, a settler road in the West Bank.
At 2016 RT established a subsidiary company named “Aero-T”, which specializes in the development and manufacture of large aerostats.
Controp which is another subsidiary of Aeronautics Defense Systems is RT’s subcontractor of choice for the supply of stabilized electro-optical payloads.