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UAV NEWS
Aerostat system detects cruise missiles and supports engagement
by Staff Writers
Tewksbury, MA (SPX) Dec 14, 2011


Testing is focusing on the JLENS' ability to detect, track and integrate with U.S. Army and Navy intercept systems to engage hostile targets, including cruise missiles and other air breathing aircraft, and stay aloft and operational for extended periods.

Raytheon recently established a test site at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., for its cruise missile defense system - the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Elevated Netted Sensor System (JLENS).

Brig. Gen. Ole Knudson, the U.S. Army's Program Executive Officer for Missiles and Space, along with representatives from the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Ala.; White Sands Missile Range; prime contractor Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems; and TCOM, the aerostat's manufacturer located in Elizabeth City, N.C., attended the test site's activation.

"JLENS provides an incredible capability," BG Knudson said. "It is strategically important in a lot of places in the world."

"This new test site will enable us to accelerate testing, training of soldiers and integration with Army and Navy air and missile defense systems," said Mark Rose, Raytheon's program director for JLENS.

"With JLENS testing going well at the Utah Training and Test Range, we will continue to put it through its paces to meet test and evaluation requirements demonstrating the system's readiness for deployment."

Detects, Tracks and Integrates
Testing is focusing on the JLENS' ability to detect, track and integrate with U.S. Army and Navy intercept systems to engage hostile targets, including cruise missiles and other air breathing aircraft, and stay aloft and operational for extended periods.

The system is also designed to detect surface threats on land and sea.

JLENS systems, each consisting of a tethered 74-meter aerostat, can be elevated to 10,000 feet. One aerostat elevates a surveillance radar that provides 360-degree coverage out for long distances over land and sea.

The other aerostat elevates a fire-control radar. Each of the aerostat platforms has the capability to integrate other communications and sensor systems.

Because JLENS is a tethered aerostat, it can remain airborne for long periods - up to 30 days at a time - providing persistent surveillance for extended periods at significantly less cost than surveillance aircraft performing the same mission.

JLENS is one of several radar systems that Raytheon designs and builds for applications such as situational awareness, air and missile defense, and air traffic management.

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