Raytheon [RTN] this week said its Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System (JLENS) program has successfully demonstrated the ability to transmit from an elevated aerostat.
The JLENS demonstration was conducted at the Utah Test and Training Range. The aerostat deployed to an altitude of 10,000 feet mean sea level, and the surveillance radar began emitting radio frequency radiation into free space for the first time.
“This milestone demonstrates another step in the maturing of our JLENS program as a game- changing capability for our warfighters to detect and defend against cruise missile threats,” said Dave Gulla, vice president, National & Theater Security Programs for Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems.
The system consists of two aerostats, one with the surveillance radar just demonstrated, and another aerostat with a fire control radar.
The successful test is another step forward for the program, which continues to undergo tests in Utah.
JLENS is the first aerostat platform featuring long-duration, wide-area, over-the-horizon detection and tracking of low-altitude cruise missiles and other threats. Its capabilities provide the battlefield commander with enhanced situational awareness and elevated communications, enabling sufficient warning to engage air defense systems and defeat threats.
The surveillance radar performs wide area surveillance and fire control sensor cueing and is one of two advanced elevated sensor systems deployed on JLENS. The multifunctional fire control radar performs sector surveillance, provides combat identification support, and supports extended range engagements of weapon systems to intercept threats at the maximum possible range from defended assets.
Deployed on a 74-meter (about 243 feet) aerostat, JLENS provides the warfighter with a low-altitude, single integrated air picture and the ability to conduct air-directed surface-to-air missile engagements.