NORAD/NORTHCOM Says JLENS Program Will Fly Again

Home / Articles / External Non-Government


February 18, 2016 | Originally published by Date Line: February 18 on

Aerostat design, human error, and procedural issues faulted in investigation.

The Raytheon-made JLENS system consists of both a fire-control system aerostat and a surveillance aerostat, and was undergoing a three-year operational exercise.

The system is capable of tracking swarming boats and vehicles, and detecting and tracking cruise missile threats. It can “see” all the way from Norfolk, Virginia, into Boston. The exercise was meant to decide JLENS” fate—whether to keep the system permanently moored in Maryland and whether the Army decides to buy more than just the two systems it now has.

The Army”s Combat Readiness Center and the Cruise Missile Defense System”s Joint Product Office concluded that JLENS didn”t escape due to one mistake or one single design flaw, but a combination of design, human error and procedural issues, Smith said.