The Ukrainian Armed Forces have successfully deployed domestically manufactured aerostats on the battlefield, acting as reconnaissance assets and signal relays, according to the “Militarnyi” YouTube channel.
Aerobavovna, a Ukrainian company, specializes in creating aerostats for military applications, enabling observation, communication relay, and drone control signal transmission.
The aerostats are delivered in transport containers equipped with winches and helium tanks, facilitating swift deployment. In less than fifteen minutes, they can be inflated and, once connected to the winch, lifted to an altitude of 500 meters above ground level.
These aerostats offer a cost-effective alternative, priced at a quarter of the cost of commercial drones.
With an approximate cost of $3,000, an aerostat capable of lifting a 5 kg payload proves to be an economical choice. Operating on helium, aerostats do not require fuel or electricity to stay afloat, though some models can be equipped with power lines to sustain their equipment.
Even a relatively small 12 cubic meter aerostat can lift a payload of around 4 kg to a height of 500 meters and remain airborne throughout the day. Equipped with a remote control, the operator can activate and deactivate the aerostat as needed, conserving battery power.
It’s worth noting that the use of aerostats, including unpowered balloons, has also been observed among Russian forces.