Once above the nation’s capital, JLENS will allow the Army to see for 320 miles in any direction from 10,000 feet above the earth. The system can be set up to operate on its own for an entire month without requiring refueling, and offers the Pentagon surveillance capabilities that dwarf other options at a penny of the cost.
Its manufactures say JLENS “enables commanders to defend against threats including hostile cruise missiles, low-flying manned and unmanned aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles, large caliber rockets and moving surface vehicles such as boats, SCUD-launchers, automobiles and tanks.”
“Affordable defense from real world threats,” Raytheon touts the system on its website.
To provide that security, though, the Army will send its integrated pair of airships — around 75 yards in length each — high into the sky carrying “powerful radars that can look deep into enemy territory.” First, however, the residents of the metropolitan Washington, DC area — and those in around a dozen states stretching the mid-Atlantic into New England — will be asked to ignore a pair of sophisticated spying machines.