Raytheon Company's aerostat system - Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Elevated Netted Sensors (JLENS) - recently completed a successful 14-day endurance test at a range in Utah demonstrating its readiness.
"Providing persistent surveillance for cruise missile defense is a very important capability of JLENS," said David Gulla, Vice President for Global Integrated Sensors at Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS).
"This recent 14-day endurance test demonstrates JLENS' capability now to be airborne on station for an extended period performing its surveillance mission at lower costs than other systems and in a reliable manner. This test, along with others, is proving JLENS' value as a critical component of the larger integrated air and missile defense mission," he added.
"While up for 14 days, JLENS tracked thousands of targets over a very wide area," said Mark Rose, Raytheon's Program Director for JLENS. "This test not only demonstrates the system's readiness, but also the significant capabilities it brings to the warfighter."
Raytheon is conducting JLENS flight tests at the Utah Training and Test Range near Salt Lake City. The system is primarily designed to detect, track and support engagements of cruise missiles and other air breathing aircraft. JLENS is fully capable of detecting air, missile and surface threats on land and at sea. Providing reliable persistent surveillance - staying aloft and operational for up to 30 days at a time - is another important feature of the system.
Known as an "orbit", the system consists of two tethered 74-meter aerostats that can be elevated to 10,000 feet.
One aerostat contains a surveillance radar that provides 360-degree coverage out for long distances over land and sea. The other aerostat lifts a fire control radar. Also, each of the aerostat platforms has the capability to integrate other communications and sensor systems.