Skystar Aerostat

Tactical Surveillance Aerostat

Sold to:

Argentina, Burkina Faso, France, Japan, Israel


Skystar Aerostat

Tactical Surveillance Aerostat

General Information

In 2004, RT LTA Systems developed a family of SkyStar aerostats for use in intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and communications applications. SkyStar systems are operational worldwide in various military and civilian missions. Today Skystar Aerostats are developed and produced cooperatively by Aeronautics and its subsidiary company RT.[1]Aeronautics Official Website : Skystar Aerostats

The Skystar aerostats series includes different models, providing the operator with a persistent, elevated view of an area under surveillance. The basic Skystar system consists of a tethered helium-filled balloon platform, a mission payload comprising a stabilized day/night electro-optical (EO) payload, and a tether that links the platform and payload to the ground control unit. They are deployed by a 2–3-person team, that operates and transports it. The entire system is packed and transported in a dedicated container, using a standard trailer or truck.

According to RT LTA Systems the Skystar systems already accumulated more than 1.5 million operational hours worldwide, as to 2018.[2]RT LTA Presents SkyStar Family of Aerostats in Mexico. RT Ita’s products are patent protected. The company’s surveillance systems are in use in dozens of countries, including Israel, Canada, the US, Russia, Thailand, Afghanistan, Mexico, Columbia, and African countries, reported the newspaper Globes in 2015.[3]Globes : Israeli surveillance balloon protects world leaders

In Latin America, the SkyStar aerostat systems were deployed in various security missions, including Pope Francis’ visit to Colombia, the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, and in a large city in the region as part of the “safe city” project.[4]RT LTA Presents SkyStar Family of Aerostats in Mexico.  In 2015 the Skystar 180 was deployed in Paris at the Climate Change Conference (COP21). RT LTA trained the local police personnel and cooperated with the French company SSI.[5]Globes : Israeli surveillance balloon protects world leaders. Skystar Aerostats were also used at G8 meetings in Russia and Canada.[6]SEECAT 2017: RT Presents The Skystar 180 Aerostat, Successfully Deployed To Japan At The Tokyo Campus

In 2018 RT LTA provided the Skystar 180 to a state police in India for police and intelligence operations.[7]RT LTA to Provide SkyStar 180 Aerostat to a State Police in India

in 2018 the Skystar 110 and the Skystar 180 were presented in a two-day demonstration to representatives from 23 different American agencies and organizations (including the US Congress, US federal agencies, US Customs and Border Protection, Texas Police and more).[8]RT Demonstrated SkyStar 110, 180 Aerostat Systems to US Agencies. The US operates Skystar aerostats since 2011.[9]Sold: Skystar – 180 Aerostats

In 2020 the SkyStar 180 tactical aerostat systems were operated for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, with the local Police being the ultimate user. The aerostats were used for law enforcement, public safety, event traffic and crowd control.[10]RT Official Website : Skystar in use at tokyo olympic and paralympic games

In 2020 RT specifically marketed the Skystar Aerostats in Europe for use on migrants that try to cross borders.[11]Israel Defense : Skystar Aerostats to use at borders

Variations: Skystar 120, Skystar 180, Skystar 220, Skystar 250, Skystar 300, Skystar 330

Skystar 180

The Skystar 180 aerostat system is a small tactical, all-weather aerostat system, that is popular with military and police forces.

Skystar 300

The Skystar 300 aerostat system is a medium-sized tactical, all-weather aerostat system, used mainly in military and homeland security operations.


Skystar Aerostats


Use by Israeli forces:

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.[12]Who Profits – RT LTA Report

The systems are operated by the army’s “Combat Intelligence Collections Corps” unit.[13]Jerusalem Post : Defense Ministry orders more surveillance aerostats

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.[14]Who Profits – RT LTA Report.

In 2015 the Israeli Defense Ministry placed orders for additional Skystar 300 aerostats following their heavy usage in the Israeli military operations in 2014 in Gaza.[15]Jerusalem Post : Defense Ministry orders more surveillance aerostats

In the summer of 2014, the company supplied the Jerusalem Municipality with five surveillance balloons as part of the security apparatus of the Jerusalem light rail in occupied East Jerusalem. The model deployed in East Jerusalem was the SkyStar 180, three of the balloons were equipped with high quality network-connected video cameras, which stream pictures in real time to police units on the ground and the other two were decoys used for deterrence. One of the balloons was positioned in the Palestinian neighborhood of Shuafat and one in the settlement neighborhood of the French Hill [16]Who Profits – RT LTA Report.

In 2018 the new Skystar 120 was demonstrated to the Israeli army and was declared as ready for operational use.[17]Israel Defense : Skystar 120 demonstrated to IDF

In 2019 the Skystar 180 was deployed by Israeli security forces for operational use during the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, Israel.[18]RT’s SkyStar 180 Aerostat Deployed to Secure the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel

In August 2021 Israel Defense reported that three of RT’s Skystar aerostats are being operated 24/7 by the Israeli Army overlooking the Gaza Strip. Israeli soldiers attend a special course during which they learn how to operate the aerostats, according to the report. The aerostats were also used during Operation “Breaking Dawn”, that was described as “a good exercise” by a Aerostat Operations Room Commander of the Army.[19]“We can see for miles into the Gaza Strip” According to the report Aerostats are also operating at the Egyptian Border.[20]“We can see for miles into the Gaza Strip”

For more information on RT LTA and Skystar Areostats – See Who Profits’ Database.