Turkey Has Deployed ‘Surveillance Balloons’ To Patrol Syrian Border

Turkey on Tuesday began conducting wide-scale surveillance operations at the Syrian border using balloons, produced by Turkish defense giant Aselsan.

Deployed to border areas in the district of Reyhanli in Turkey’s southern Hatay province across from Syria’s northwestern Idlib, Karagoz is able to scan an area of eight square kilometers (3 square miles) with its mounted wide-area surveillance camera, according to the data by Aselsan.

The seventeen meter-long balloon can operate at altitudes of up to 500 meters (1,640 feet) and is intended to carry out surveillance missions, gather intelligence and be used for its early warning capabilities to protect military bases and critical facilities.

It can be adapted for various tasks with different payload options, including electro-optic cameras and 360-degrees stabilized observation capabilities. Aselsan is the largest defense company of Turkey and among the top 100 defense firms in the world.