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August 26, 2021

Rheinmetall to supply tethered surveillance balloon for German FOB in Niger

Also known as aerostat, the system has already been used by many soldiers and observers from previous deployments.

Rheinmetall has secured an order from Bundeswehr, the unified German Armed Forces, for the supply of a tethered balloon-based area reconnaissance system.

This system, also called as an aerostat, will help protect Germany’s forward operating base (FOB) in Niger.

Rheinmetall noted that the order has a net worth of more than €21m.

The company’s subsidiary Rheinmetall Canada will be responsible for the surveillance balloon’s sensors integration.

It will be incorporated into the existing military consultation, command, control, communications, and intelligence (C4I) architecture.

Highly sensitive sensors of the tethered balloon enable it to detect threats from longer distances.

The system has been already used by many soldiers and observers from previous deployments.

These tethered surveillance balloons will give the German Bundeswehr a new source of protecting its soldiers deployed in the Niger base.

Rheinmetall noted that the solution will enable Bundeswehr to identify hostile forces day and night and respond to threats in a timely manner by deploying the required countermeasures.

The use of these systems has shown a reduction of an attack by hostile elements by 50%, according to the company.

The operator solution awarded by Bundeswehr will see Rheinmetall undertaking the responsibility to run the system in Niger day and night, seven days a week.

On the ground, soldiers in special workstations will operate aerostat’s sensors.

Before deploying the system, Rheinmetall will also train troops to perform their future tasks.

In March, Rheinmetall announced a $103.7m (€88m) contract from Bundeswehr to supply MELLS antitank guided missile system.

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