"The Pentagon has seen the future of communications, and it is... inflatable," Wired reports.
"It makes sense, if you think about it. Pentagon brass want the military of tomorrow to be nimble and easily deployed, which means its equipment must be as well. That's why an alphabet soup of Pentagon offices, led by the US Army Project Manager, chipped in for a five-year, $440 million (£267 million) contract to give the Army, Marine Corps and others an inflatable satellite antenna (ISA) currently available only to the badasses in Special Ops."
"The big balloon is made by the Alabama company GATR. It's got a flexible parabolic dish mounted within an inflatable sphere, an arrangement that cuts the weight and packaging volume by as much as 80 percent compared to rigid antennas. The system is designed for ground use and is particularly useful in remote areas where consistent, sustained communication can be a challenge."