Israeli balloon protects the Pope

SkyStar 180 system, an Israeli-made surveillance balloon that was used earlier this year to watch over Tel Aviv’s gay pride parade photographed every step of the Pope’s visit to Uganda and sought out potential threats


Hundreds of millions of people across the world followed Pope Francis’s historic visit to Uganda a month ago, but his hosts’ fear that he would be harmed in public places led them to use an Israel-made surveillance balloon.

The SkyStar 180 system is produced at the RT company factory in Yavne and has also been used for watching over civilian events in Israel this year (e.g. large shows, the gay pride march and the Ethiopian-Israeli protests). It was sent to Africa along with upgraded surveillance technology that has recently been made available for monitoring balloons.

The technology includes a new high-resolution camera, new viewing equipment and a navigation system that allows for the balloon to be controlled remotely – by day and night. Israeli teams traveled to Africa with surveillance equipment and guided local police teams alongside operating the balloon itself.

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