Raytheon moves ahead with aerostat-based cruise missile defense system

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala., 13 Jan. 2007. Engineers at Raytheon Co. in Andover, Mass., are proceeding with a U.S. Army program to develop and demonstrate an aerostat-based over-the-horizon system to defend against cruise missiles called the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System, otherwise known as JLENS.

Jan 13th, 2007

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala., 13 Jan. 2007. Engineers at Raytheon Co. in Andover, Mass., are proceeding with a U.S. Army program to develop and demonstrate an aerostat-based over-the-horizon system to defend against cruise missiles called the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System, otherwise known as JLENS.

Raytheon won a $144.3 million contract increment from the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., for JLENS system development and demonstration, Army officials announced Jan. 11.

JLENS consists of an aerostat with radars to provide over-the-horizon surveillance for defense against cruise missiles -- particularly those deployed outside the United States. It will operate between 10,000 and 15,000 feet to detect surface-skimming cruise missiles before the weapons are detectable over the horizon.

The system can operate from land or sea, and is relocatable. It is a large, unpowered elevated sensor attached to the ground by a long cable, which can stay aloft for a month at a time.

Raytheon will do the work in Andover, Mass.; El Segundo, Calif.; Long Beach, Calif.; Columbia, Md.; Elizabeth City, N.C.; Huntsville, Ala.; Laurel, Md.; Dallas; Austin, Texas; Alexandria, Va.; and Greenlawn, N.Y. Work should be finished by early 2012.

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