Military Review

JLENS complex: aerostat with radar and private life

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In October of this year, two 70-meter balloons will appear in the sky of the American state of Maryland. They will be at an altitude of about 3 kilometers and monitor the environment. Special equipment installed on these balloons will collect information for air defense systems. For some time, new balloons of the JLENS complex will be tested in real conditions and monitor the situation in the airspace of the eastern United States.




The JLENS complex (Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System - “The Unified Network System for the Detection of Cruise Missiles”) is a development by Raytheon. Work on the creation of the airship with a complex of electronic equipment and ground-based facilities lasted almost two decades. The goal of the JLENS project was to create a flying radar station based on an aerostat capable of staying in the air for a long time and watching the surrounding space. Using a balloon as a basis for the complex allows you to raise the radar antenna to a relatively large height and thereby increase the radius of target detection in comparison with similar ground-based radars.

Balloons about 74 meters long and weighing several tons will hang on a leash at the Aberdeen Proving Ground. The equipment placed on them will allow to monitor various objects in the air, on the ground and on the water. It is known that radars installed on balloons will be able to detect air targets at a distance of up to 550 kilometers, and for ground objects (cars or other vehicles) the maximum detection range will be at the level of 225 km. Thus, only a few balloons of the JLENS complex will be able to create a solid detection field on the east or west coast of the United States. Also, the balloons will be equipped with video cameras, which allow monitoring in a radius of several tens of kilometers.

It is known that aerostats with radar stations will not only be able to detect targets, but also direct anti-aircraft missiles at them. It is assumed that at the same time in the air there will be an aerostat with a radar designed for observation and search for targets, as well as an aerostat with a station for target illumination and missile control. Due to this, it is expected that it will be possible to increase the effectiveness of joint combat operations of the JLENS system and anti-aircraft missile systems, which ultimately will affect the capabilities of the entire US air defense.

According to reports, the JLENS complex will include several technical means. These are directly balloons with radar monitoring and control stations. weapons, mobile installation with means of deploying balloons and ensuring their operation, as well as machines with electronic equipment and calculation work stations. To keep the balloon in position it is proposed to use the cable of the original design. This element of the complex combines power and fiber optic cables for data transmission, covered with a strong Kevlar braid. Such a cable allows the balloon to rise to a height of the order of 4,5 kilometers, while simultaneously providing electricity to all systems and transmitting data on the situation in the air and on the ground. If necessary, the balloon complex JLENS will be able to transmit information via a secure radio channel.

As part of the air defense systems, the JLENS complex in the future will perform the same functions as the existing radar stations. The calculation of the complex will monitor the airspace or, if necessary, the movement of ground vehicles. When a potentially dangerous target is detected, the calculation will have to transmit information about it to the appropriate information management center through the available communication channels. Further, the operators of the JLENS complex will be able to help their colleagues from the calculations of the air defense missile system, highlighting the attacked target.

In the future, the complex JLENS can get weapons for self-attack of some targets. Raytheon is developing the SDB II compact bomb, which is expected to allow the calculation of the JLENS complex to destroy some types of ground targets without resorting to outside help. Guided bomb caliber no more than 100 kg will be able to hit targets at ranges up to 60-70 kilometers from the balloon dropped it. The dimensions and weight of this bomb make it possible to use a combined homing head on it, combining passive radar, passive laser and infrared systems.

According to Raytheon, in its current form, the JLENS complex has greater efficiency than existing long-range radar detection aircraft. One JLENS complex will be able to monitor airspace around the clock for 30 days. To accomplish such a task by forces aviation will have to put on duty 4-5 aircraft. In addition, the use of balloons with radar stations is 5-7 times cheaper than the operation of several aircraft with similar characteristics, and also requires half the number of staff.

The financial side of the JLENS project is currently being criticized. The promised savings in operation or maintenance will manifest only after the complex has been put into service, but this event will take place only after a few years. Meanwhile, about 4,1 billion dollars has already been spent on the development of balloons, radio-electronic equipment and other components of the complex.

As if trying to reassure taxpayers, representatives of the Pentagon recently announced an approximate schedule of further work on the project. So, October 1 will begin a new phase of testing a promising complex. Balloons JLENS placed on the Aberdeen Proving Ground. It is assumed that these tests will continue to 2017 year. For three years, Raytheon and the military intend to correct the remaining shortcomings and bring the promising complex to a state suitable for use by the troops.

Previously published information on the course of testing of the JLENS complex suggests that it has high potential. In early August last year, the Pentagon and Raytheon reported the completion of the next test phase, during which the advanced radar complex coped with all the tasks. During the tests, the balloon with the radar station successfully detected unmanned aerial vehicles, cruise and ballistic missiles. In addition, as part of the test complex JLENS for a long time tracked the movement of the vehicle. With the help of a video system installed on a balloon, testers were able to detect saboteurs of a conditional enemy and record how they installed a training explosive device on one of the roads in their area of ​​responsibility.

The declared characteristics and capabilities of the JLENS complex look interesting and promising. Having received such surveillance systems, the US military will be able to significantly increase the potential of its air defense. However, despite the declared use of the complex, some fears have reappeared in the American press. There are suspicions that balloon balloons with radar stations and video systems will be used not only and not so much to monitor the air situation and protect the airspace of the United States, but rather to monitor their own citizens and interfere with their privacy. After the recent scandals, such fears do not look unfounded or far-fetched.

The military, in turn, calm the agitated public with assurances about the use of JLENS complexes only in the interests of the country's security. In addition, they emphasize that they are not going to transfer the collected information to any special services. Such statements could completely dispel all suspicions, but the Pentagon did not give any guarantees of the preservation of these plans. Therefore, the unrest and suspicions associated with the JLENS complexes will not only not cease in the near future, but will continue with a new force after the start of the next test phase.

While the press has been spreading rumors about the possible use of the JLENS complex for spying on its own population, the military and Raytheon continue to prepare for the conduct of new tests. At the moment, the test is scheduled to begin on October 1, although for the remaining time this date may change. One way or another, the Pentagon does not intend to abandon a promising surveillance system that will help increase the capabilities of air defense.


On the materials of the sites:
http://washingtonpost.com/
http://blogs.computerworld.com/
http://baltimoresun.com/
http://svpressa.ru/
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13 comments
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  1. invisibility
    invisibility 30 January 2014 09: 14
    -1
    Democracy in action! I'd love to hear the comments of supporters of liberal foundations ..
    1. Geisenberg
      Geisenberg 30 January 2014 13: 29
      +1
      Quote: invisible
      Democracy in action! I'd love to hear the comments of supporters of liberal foundations ..


      This is a technological solution for air defense in the first place. The fact that it can be used for total surveillance of the population is a nice bonus for the CIA. So liberalism has nothing to do with it.

      I wonder why such an obvious design did not occur to our designers ?? This is also an elementary solution, very economical, provides diverse accommodation options ... yes, everything that comes to mind can be placed there.
      1. alean245
        alean245 30 January 2014 13: 56
        0
        I wonder why such an obvious design did not occur to our designers ?? This is also an elementary solution, very economical, provides diverse accommodation options ... yes, everything that comes to mind can be placed there.

        Such an idea has already entered the heads of designers.
        http://gunm.ru/news/aehrostat_puma/2011-03-16-135
        http://gunm.ru/news/russkaja_puma_v_nebe_kitaja/2011-04-27-203
        Something I did not hear about the availability of such balloons in service or about plans for adopting them.
      2. AVV
        AVV 30 January 2014 15: 37
        0
        Quote: Geisenberg
        Quote: invisible
        Democracy in action! I'd love to hear the comments of supporters of liberal foundations ..


        This is a technological solution for air defense in the first place. The fact that it can be used for total surveillance of the population is a nice bonus for the CIA. So liberalism has nothing to do with it.

        I wonder why such an obvious design did not occur to our designers ?? This is also an elementary solution, very economical, provides diverse accommodation options ... yes, everything that comes to mind can be placed there.

        Such balloons could be placed along the entire border with Kazakhstan. On the Arctic coast, the border is enormous, but it needs to be guarded and monitored !!! But the Americans have already tried to launch such a project, but then refused !!! Let's see if this comes to mind ?! !!
        1. Geisenberg
          Geisenberg 30 January 2014 22: 24
          0
          Quote: AVV
          Such balloons could be placed along the entire border with Kazakhstan. On the Arctic coast, the border is enormous, but it needs to be guarded and monitored !!! But the Americans have already tried to launch such a project, but then refused !!! Let's see if this comes to mind ?! !!


          Rather "it is necessary" without "it was" ... I myself was a border guard in the past, something that I saw while serving, including on a drifting ice floe ...

          the Americans are too swayed. Although they raise these things above the clouds, which in general is a good idea. I understand that the trouble there is how to lift-land this thing in bad weather. There is only one cable in the picture, and the area of ​​the object is very serious ... in theory, it is necessary to put and make orientation motors on it on three cables ...

          Well, let's see what grows out there.
      3. Fofan
        Fofan 30 January 2014 20: 41
        -1
        Quote: Geisenberg

        This is a technological solution for air defense in the first place. The fact that it can be used for total surveillance of the population is a nice bonus for the CIA. So liberalism has nothing to do with it.

        I wonder why such an obvious design did not occur to our designers ?? This is also an elementary solution, very economical, provides diverse accommodation options ... yes, everything that comes to mind can be placed there.
        what air defense? the us every day fired cruise missiles? or maybe radio-controlled donkeys crap on the lawn in front of the white house?
        1. Geisenberg
          Geisenberg 30 January 2014 23: 06
          0
          Quote: Fofan
          what air defense? the us every day fired cruise missiles? or maybe radio-controlled donkeys crap on the lawn in front of the white house?


          What-what-GLOBAL ... what do you think they are building weapons to fight with everyone? I’ll tell you a secret - it’s reproved in American style. Means must be mastered ... and here comes such a slicker.
          1. the47th
            the47th 3 February 2014 10: 02
            0
            I can add that if the military does not use the budget in the specified amount this year, it will cut it next year, because "the military did not spend part of the money this year, so they do not need it." And this is not good, because you will have to eat red caviar without bread, and wash the Rolls-Royce not with Crystal champagne, but with water.
  2. BARKAS
    BARKAS 30 January 2014 09: 16
    +3
    At work, such a thing would be very useful for us to monitor the forests during a fire hazard. good
    1. Geisenberg
      Geisenberg 30 January 2014 13: 30
      0
      Quote: BARKAS
      At work, such a thing would be very useful for us to monitor the forests during a fire hazard. good


      You can’t imagine how she would help us at the border ...
  3. Nayhas
    Nayhas 30 January 2014 09: 18
    +5
    JLENS is the best tool for enhancing object defense. For example, to cover strategic objects such as the ICBM mine. Here is the whole set of tools, and increasing the effective range of air defense systems by eliminating range limitations due to the radio horizon, now low-flying missiles lose their advantage, and increasing the noise immunity of air defense detection and guidance systems, and the possibility of conducting anti-sabotage measures around the clock without involving aviation .... There are a lot of pluses.
    Such a system in conjunction with the S-400 would solve a lot of problems in organizing air defense.
  4. Professor
    Professor 30 January 2014 10: 39
    +1
    Balloons are a promising thing:






    And the well-forgotten old:
    1. The comment was deleted.
  5. patsantre
    patsantre 30 January 2014 13: 36
    0
    Yes, the direction is definitely promising. It is especially relevant for us.
  6. alex-kon
    alex-kon 31 January 2014 11: 23
    0
    As I understand it, they are most likely to be dragging him behind an aircraft carrier so that AWACS planes fly less into the air. But on the mainland, the meaning of their use is only to increase the radio horizon, since they are washed by oceans on both sides and the mountains have nothing to do with it. Or maybe another cut, as with other know-how.
  7. Zomanus
    Zomanus 2 February 2014 00: 40
    0
    Well, at least now they will work out the idea in practice. Then they will draw conclusions. And they and we ...
  8. Achtaba1970
    Achtaba1970 2 February 2014 12: 45
    0
    Quote: AVV
    Quote: Geisenberg
    Quote: invisible
    Democracy in action! I'd love to hear the comments of supporters of liberal foundations ..


    This is a technological solution for air defense in the first place. The fact that it can be used for total surveillance of the population is a nice bonus for the CIA. So liberalism has nothing to do with it.

    I wonder why such an obvious design did not occur to our designers ?? This is also an elementary solution, very economical, provides diverse accommodation options ... yes, everything that comes to mind can be placed there.

    Such balloons could be placed along the entire border with Kazakhstan. On the Arctic coast, the border is enormous, but it needs to be guarded and monitored !!! But the Americans have already tried to launch such a project, but then refused !!! Let's see if this comes to mind ?! !!

    In the Arctic, and on the border with Kazakhstan, there are very strong winds.