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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Coming To A City Near You

A year from now, two stark white aerostats will hover over Washington, D.C., a pair of eyes in the sky to detect incoming threats. After eight years in development, two early user tests, and $2.7 billion, JLENS, the abbreviated title (thankfully) of the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System, is ready for deployment. 

"We're transitioning from a development program to an actual program where the users are coming in and operating the system," JLENS program director Doug Burgess said during a press conference Wednesday morning. "[We're] getting away from the PhD engineer types running the system to the 20- or 25-year-old soldier running the system." 

Defense giant Raytheon designed JLENS as a cost-effective surveillance system that could keep watch for hostile targets such as terrain-hugging cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, swarming boats, and unmanned aircraft.PopMech covered the project last August before JLENS moved into its first wave of early user testing in the fall. Following six weeks of testing in May and June, one hundred U.S. Army soldiers have been trained on the JLENS system and will travel with the aerostat. . . .


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