Combatant commanders have moved one step closer to being able to detect, track and engage threats such as swarming boats and incoming cruise missiles, around the clock, from hundreds of miles away.
In June 2012, the first class of U.S. Army soldiers completed mission operator training on the Raytheon JLENS elevated, persistent over-the-horizon sensor system.
“Now that the classroom studies and simulation activities are complete, these soldiers are fully prepared to begin structured, on-the-job training on the actual JLENS hardware,” said Dean Barten, the U.S. Army’s JLENS product manager.
JLENS uses a powerful integrated radar system to detect, track and target a variety of threats. This capability better enables commanders to defend against threats, including hostile cruise missiles, low-flying manned and unmanned aircraft, large caliber rockets, and moving surface vehicles such as boats, SCUD-launchers, automobiles and tanks.
“JLENS tracks a wide range of targets at extremely long ranges providing commanders minutes to identify and respond to incoming threats instead of the handful of seconds provided by current systems,” said David Gulla, vice president of Global Integrated Sensors for Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems business. “JLENS could be tested abroad today to evaluate its effectiveness in defending assets critical to our national security.”
During the class, soldiers learned to use JLENS to detect and target incoming cruise missiles, and track ships, cars, trucks and boats. They also practiced setting up the system and communicating information gleaned from JLENS sensors to U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force counterparts.
A JLENS system, referred to as an orbit, consists of two tethered, 74-meter aerostats connected to mobile mooring stations and a communications and processing group. The aerostats fly as high as 10,000 feet and can remain aloft and operational for up to 30 days. One aerostat carries a surveillance radar with 360-degree surveillance capability; the other aerostat carries a fire control radar.