The U.S. Army has deployed a Raytheon-built blimp system over Maryland’s airspace as part of operational tests for the aerostat.
The JLENS balloon carried thousands of feet above rural Maryland radar systems that are designed to detect cruise-missiles and drones, Raytheon said Saturday.
“JLENS can detect potential threats at extremely long ranges, giving North American Aerospace Defense Command more time to make decisions and more space to react appropriately,” said Dave Gulla, vice president of Raytheon’s global integrated sensors business.
Raytheon will turn over the blimp system to the Army’s A Battery, 3rd Air Defense Artillery, following the testing and integration of radars.
The second JLENS balloon is also set for testing in early 2015.