An airship-based surveillance system for the Royal Thai Army (RTA) has been successfully demonstrated by ARIA International.

The surveillance system is specifically designed to support RTA’s actions in counter-insurgency operations in southern Thailand.

The Aeros Corporation-manufactured Aeros A-40D Airship is a state-of-the-art airship fitted with surveillance systems, including cameras, recording equipment, communications equipment and long-range data transmission systems.

The surveillance system will enable all video and communications to be transmitted to various sites in the south of Thailand in real time to facilitate quick coordination against any insurgency activities.

The system will also provide the RTA with a long endurance surveillance platform that can hover above suspected insurgents and monitor their activities.

The airship can be operated at altitudes where it is safe from small arms fire and can carry out monitoring activities without being detected by enemy forces.

Aria International president Mike Crosby said the persistent surveillance system will provide critical intelligence allowing the RTA and other agencies to better prosecute criminals in the southern region.

“The system has been successfully demonstrated and our team will continue to work and train with the RTA to support its important Southern Border Surveillance and Security mission,” Crosby said.

The final test and acceptance process for the airship-based surveillance system is progressing and is expected to be completed shortly.

In April 2009, the RTA awarded a contract to Aria to provide a state-of-the-art surveillance system that uses Axsys V-14 MSII cameras mounted on an airship and three RTA helicopters.