KABUL, Afghanistan – To better protect the people of Kabul and support regional security operations of Afghanistan national security forces, the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is installing a new state-of-the-art security system in Bala Hissar, Kabul.

The Persistent Threat Detection System consists of an aerostat (a “blimp”) mounted with camera equipment. It is flown on a tether at several thousand feet to enable around-the-clock surveillance of a wide area.

Through the PTDS, Afghan national security forces will have access to high resolution imagery, including full-motion video and audio data from the greater Kabul area. This information, together with surveillance data from other security systems, will enable better and earlier threat recognition, which in turn will facilitate security forces’ effective responses to threats and attacks.

The system is capable of immediate reaction to emerging incidents to capture video of unanticipated events. It will fly at an altitude that puts it out of range of most weapons systems and is not expected to be at great risk.

“This is an invaluable tool we have available to fight the enemies of Afghanistan and encourage peace and security,” said Afghan ministry of interior spokesperson Zemarai Bashary.

Threat detections systems have a successful history of integration with security technologies to combat threats in Iraq, and dozens of PTDS have been employed effectively in eastern Afghanistan since early 2004. Plans are underway to launch the system in areas around Afghanistan over the coming months.

ISAF is making this technology available to support the Afghan national security forces.

“We are pleased to have this system because it will contribute to making Kabul safer and will assist us in denying insurgents the ability to carry out threats,” said Afghan ministry of defense spokesperson General Zahir Azimi.

International Security Assistance Force is a key component of the international community’s engagement in Afghanistan, assisting the Afghan authorities in providing security and stability and creating the conditions for reconstruction and development.

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