US: US Army's A Battery, 3rd Air Defense Artillery has been recently certified to operate Raytheon Company's JLENS radar to protect the National Capital Region (NCR) from cruise missiles and drone threats. JLENS is a system of two aerostats, or tethered blimps, that float 10,000 feet in the air. According to the company, the helium filled aerostats, each nearly as long as a football field, carry powerful radars that can protect a territory roughly the size of Texas from airborne threats. JLENS provides 360-degrees of defensive radar coverage and can detect and track objects like cruise missiles, drones and airplanes from up to 340 miles away.
"When JLENS deploys to Aberdeen Proving Ground, later this year, it will provide a powerful new capability to the National Capital Region's Integrated Air Defense System (IADS). With this certification, the soldiers now possess the skills to maximise the capabilities of JLENS to help defend our country from the growing cruise missile and drone threat,” said Raytheon's Dave Gulla, Vice President of Integrated Defense Systems' Global Integrated Sensors business area. Raytheon helped prepare the soldiers for the Army's independent certification process by training them on a variety of key tasks, including: using JLENS' hydraulic winch system to raise and lower the aerostat; radar operations; equipment maintenance; initiating communication links in order to communicate critical information to higher echelons and emergency procedures.