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Airship-Based Surveillance System for Counter Insurgency Operations in Thailand

A surveillance system based on an airship was successively demonstrated to the Royal Thai Army (RTA) by Aria International.

The final test of this surveillance system along with the acceptance process is in progress and is likely to be concluded in the near future. The RTA had contacted Aria during April 2009 for providing a new generation surveillance system using Axsys V14 MSII cameras installed on three RTA helicopters and an airship. This surveillance system will support Thai military actions involving discovering and counter insurgency operations in southern Thailand.

Aria International that focuses on offering dedicated communications and surveillance solutions for a worldwide customer base is Aria International Holdings’ wholly owned subsidiary. Components demonstrated by Aria and under transition to the RTA are the Aeros A-40D Airship, Grizzly Armored Vehicle, Five Axsys V-14 MSII Cameras, and the Airship hanger.

The Aeros A-40D Airship that is made by the Worldwide Aeros Corporation incorporates surveillance system and long range data transmission system for the transmission of video and communication data in real time to sites located in southern Thailand for coordinating counter insurgency operations. The surveillance system on board the airship includes cameras, recording systems, and communications equipment. This airship will also provide a long lasting surveillance platform to the RTA for flying over suspected insurgents for monitoring their activities before they have a chance to take destructive action. The airship can function at altitudes that are protected from small arms fire. The airship cannot be heard when it flies at an altitude and helps to keep the monitoring action secret. This enhanced feature provided the local authorities as well as the RTA the capability for maximizing their response actions and monitoring the response operations effectively.

Configuring the Grizzly Armored Vehicle as a Mobile Command Vehicle empowers it to gather related information and guide counter insurgency ground operations in an extremely hostile environment. The vehicle is unaffected by road side bombs that are deployed against the counter insurgency forces in southern Thailand continually. The vehicle was designed specifically to defeat road side bombs utilized in Afghanistan and Iraq against the Coalition and the U.S. forces.

The RTA helicopters will be installed with three Axsys V-14 MSII Cameras. Besides these helicopters, three more helicopters will be suitably configured for deploying this state-of-the-art camera system that incorporates an infrared (IR) camera and long range, day imaging-features high definition (HD) camera for special operations. These new generation cameras permit users to monitor insurgent activities at ranges that are unsurpassed by competing systems existing in the market. These helicopters and the airship can also share information for coordinating their operations while reacting to insurgent activities or searching for illegal activities.

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