Aerostat systems completes tests

July 27, 2011 at 11:35 AM
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TEWKSBURY, Mass., July 27 (UPI) -- Raytheon's anti-cruise missile aerostat system has completed an endurance test in Utah, the company reported.

The Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensors system is primarily designed to detect, track and support engagements of cruise missiles and other air breathing aircraft but is fully capable of detecting air, missile and surface threats and can stay aloft for as much as 30 days at a time.

A JLENS "orbit" consists of two tethered 234-foot aerostats that can be elevated to 10,000 feet.

One aerostat contains surveillance radar that provides 360-degree coverage for long distances depending on terrain. The other aerostat lifts fire control radar.

Each of the aerostat platforms can integrate other communications and sensor systems.

"Providing long endurance 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.

"This recent test demonstrates JLENS' ability to stay aloft for extended periods 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 an important component of the larger integrated air and missile defense mission."

Raytheon is conducting JLENS flight tests at the Utah Training and Test Range near Salt Lake City.

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