Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensors System
(JLENS) utilizes a tethered early warning and surveillance sensor
installed in an aerostat, positioned at medium altitude. Such
system provides over-the-horizon detection and tracking of
aircraft, helicopters, UAVs and primarily – the most illusive
cruise missiles. JLENS will be positioned at an altitude of up to
15,000 feet for extended periods, to elevate radar, ESM and
communication systems and networking assets which will offer
wide-area surveillance and tracking of land attack cruise
missiles. Such targets may go undetected by surface-based sensors
because of terrain masking and line-of-sight locations of targets.
Other sensors on
board will also detect and tracking of surface moving targets. The
system will effectively cover and track targets over 360-degree,
providing an integrated air picture via multiple sensors and
command, control, communications and intelligence (C3I)
networks. The sensor suite consists of a surveillance radar (SR)
and a precision track and illumination radar (PTIR). The SR
provides a long-range air picture enhanced by identification
friend or foe. The PTIR is a steerable, lightweight array capable
of tracking multiple targets in a sector. The JLENS prioritizes
remote and local tracks autonomously or accepts external requests
for precision tracking and engagement support. An elevated sensor
such as JLENS can support ground based air defense units, such as
Patriot, Aegis/Standard Missile and SLAMRAAM.
The large area
coverage and multiple target tracking capability enable such
system to support both surface-to-air and air-to-air missile
engagements, by relaying updated intercept solutions to airborne
missiles or via their launchers, in engage-on-remote and forward
pass operating modes. In late November 2003, the Army announced
its intention to redeploy the Rapid Aerostat Initial Deployment
(RAID) force protection aerostat from Afghanistan to Iraq.
concept of an untethered airship
is pursued by Lockheed Martin.
The program cost is estimated at US $149 million with completion
expected by November 2010.