The Indian armed forces are using radar-carrying static balloons to provide an early warning of terrorist air strikes, according to reports. Much interest has been aroused in defence circles during recent months by the air raids mounted in Sri Lanka by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, or "Tamil Tigers"). The conflict …
Worked for the US
After World War II, right up until 1962, the US deployed blimps carrying massive surveillance radar. The advantage of the blimp was that the antenna could actually be housed inside the envelope where it wouldn't cause drag. And these things were massive:
US still uses aerostats
The US is using tethered aerostat baloon radar on the border with Mexico and around the Gulf of Mexico. It works quite well.
Rumour had it that, during the Second (or was it the Third) Indo-Pak War, the Indian anti-tank brigades were cunningly armed with giant can openers !!
Hindenburg burned in glorious colour because it was the aluminised fabric burning. The hydrogen, of course, all escaped invisibly out the top without even a 'pop'. I hope (and expect) that the Indians haven't made the same mistake: Helium won't save them from a lightning string if the fabric is flammable.
The Hindenburgh burned so well because it had gas bladders made of rubber containing iron oxide to prevent UV degradation, covering this with aluminised fabric was a large mistake. Iron Oxide + Aluminium = Thermite
A Thermite coated bag of extremely flammable gas was going to go up some time or another.