IDF rocket detection system delayed over red tape

Two military branches disputing finance of HILA, capable of giving real-time intel on rocket squads.

HILA system 248.88 (photo credit: IDF)
HILA system 248.88
(photo credit: IDF)
The IDF recently acquired an advanced system capable of pinpointing rocket-launching crews and hitting them, but is not using it, Israel Radio reported Monday overnight. The system, an observation blimp nicknamed HILA, hovers at the height of up to one kilometer and can work both in daylight and during the night. It is equipped with cameras and radars, and is operated from the ground. It is capable of quickly acquiring short-term intelligence, such as the location of terrorists and rocket launchers, which can be conveyed to combat troops practically in real time. It is also capable of following troop movements, thus alerting them to dangers within their radius. However, operating the HILA system costs NIS 8 million a year, and currently the IDF's Southern Command and Ground Forces' Command are in a dispute as to which of the branches is to finance its deployment. HILA was developed for general intelligence purposes but can serve as a substitute to the Iron Dome system until development of the latter is finished. The system was tested successfully two months ago, Israel Radio reported.