Posted by Sam Fenny - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 9 March 2023

Britain Could Invest in Spy Balloons to Boost Intelligence Gathering

Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) could invest in a fleet of spy balloons in a bid to boost surveillance and intelligence gathering.

According to MoD produced magazine Desider (pdf), its military procurement wing is looking towards “balloon based” systems to successfully “exploit” the stratosphere.

The new equipment—similar to the Chinese spy balloons shot down over America last month—would be developed under Project Aether.

Last year, ministers signed a £100 million contract with a U.S. company to develop “unscrewed platforms for stratospheric communications” as well as intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance purposes.

The surveillance balloons fly between 50,000 and 80,000 feet, meaning that they are less likely to be battered by turbulence.

Writing in the latest edition of Desider, Ross Corbett, Project Aether military requirements manager, said: “Successfully exploiting this space could mean huge potential benefits but there’s still a lot left for us to learn about how to operate there, especially for long periods of time.

“Our working theory is that the turbulence we’ve all experienced in aeroplanes cruising at 40,000ft doesn’t exist to the same degree in the stratosphere.

“If that’s right, we could send up really light aircraft for long periods of time, without worrying about them being battered by turbulent air. This could be a layer of the atmosphere with, we think, very little traffic or weather.”

Test Flights Carried Out
Corbett said the ministry was looking at both “balloon-based” and “fixed-wing systems.”

He said it would be better to have “a range of capabilities” that included “platforms that loiter in the stratosphere for longer periods of time” and others that can stay there “for shorter fixed durations instead.”

He added that the project was currently running test flights with prototypes from three industry partners: Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), Voltitude, and Airbus.

Corbett added: “I am absolutely convinced that Project Aether as a capability, and as a package, will give Defence that extra operational initiative to be more globally aware, more globally potent, more globally effective, both within the UK Armed Forces and alongside our NATO allies.

“I really think the future capability of these platforms could be an important element in winning the battles to come.”

In response to queries on the balloons from The Epoch Times, an MoD spokesman said, “We regularly keep our capabilities under review and while assessment activity is ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

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