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  • First JLENS Aerostat Flies
    Posted by Graham Warwick 6:46 PM on Aug 26, 2009

    The first aerostat for Raytheon's JLENS* cruise-missile defense elevated-sensor system has flown at manufacturer TCOM. Tethered to its mobile mooring platform, the 74m-long dirigible reached an altitude of 3,000ft. Each JLENS system, or orbit, will have two tethered aerostats, one carrying a wide-angle surveillance radar that will cue a tracking and illumination radar in the other. Between them, the look-down radars will detect and track low-flying cruise missiles to enable over-the-horizon intercepts by surface-to-air missiles.

    Raytheon has released video of the first flight, but without sound...


    If that's way too quiet for you, check out this animation portraying the operational deployment of a JLENS aerostat...


    Videos: Raytheon

    Raytheon is developing two complete JLENS systems under a $1.5 billion contract, one of which will be delivered to the US Army for fielding, but the Army has decided to stretch development by a year and delay a decision on production of 14 more systems to FY2012. The delay is intended to align JLENS with the Army's Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) program which will develop an overall. architecture, standard interfaces and battle command system.

    * Acronym alert - JLENS stands for Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor. Shouldn't that be JLACMDENS?

    Tags: ar99, JLENS, Army

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