“The Invisible Barrier”. The Russians want to use a method from two world wars to get rid of Ukrainian drone strikes

Illustration / “Barrage” balloons over London during World War II. Photo Credit: Niday Picture Library / Alamy / Alamy / Profimedia

The Russian government plans to build a network of “barrage” balloons, a so-called “barrier” defense system, to thwart long-range Ukrainian drone attacks, a British publication wrote on Sunday. telegram.

Ukrainian forces have continued to carry out drone strikes and sabotage along the Russian border, targeting military bases, oil refineries and industrial facilities, profits fueling Moscow’s war effort, it noted. Kyiv Independent.

A Russian aerospace company called First Airship has developed a prototype of these balloons and has begun testing them, according to the British publication.

Polina Albeck, managing director of First Airship, announced that her company had received the first orders for the balloons.

The balloons will be capable of supporting a net designed to protect energy infrastructure and other key targets inside Russia from Ukrainian strikes.

Balloons are placed in hangers. From there, they rise rapidly, form a line, and then begin netting up to 250m to form a defensive structure in the air.

According to The Telegraph article, each balloon will rise 300 meters above the ground and carry a maximum weight of 30 kg, which is enough to carry a light net.

Each balloon is equipped with radar, electronic jammers and video cameras that provide 360-degree images and have a visibility range of up to 7 miles (about 11 km).

“These capabilities allow for substantial vertical coverage, creating an effective deterrent against low-flying drones that threaten sensitive locations. Drones can’t see the mesh, it’s too thin for them,” Albeck said.

He said the balloon could be equipped with a “vacuum gun” to intercept drones by launching an invisible, “ultra-light and ultra-strong” net.

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Russian forces have already used air balloons in the war in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Air Force announced last year that the Russian military had used echolocation hot air balloons over Kiev to confuse air defenses before launching actual strikes with missiles and drones.

“Barrage” balloons were used extensively in both World War I and World War II.

In recent months, long-range Ukrainian drone strikes have increased, severely damaging energy infrastructure and other key targets inside Russia.

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