An airborne missile detection system produced by defense contractor Raytheon monitored four ballistic targets during testing in December, Reuters reported on Monday.
The Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System can identify missile threats at distances up to 340 miles from altitudes of up to 10,000 feet. The technology is incorporated into flight systems that appear much like blimps.
The technology has generally been aimed at countering low-flying cruise missiles. However, testing on Dec. 6-7 at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico demonstrated "launch point estimation, ballistic tracking and discrimination performance," according to a Raytheon press release to be issued on Tuesday. The system monitored the mock ballistic missiles in the initial phase of flight.
One JLENS system is to undergo three years of testing while another could be fielded abroad within that time frame.
The system's "proven capabilities" are a resource against dangers including "the growing ballistic missile threat" to U.S. troops and allies, Army program manager Dean Barten said in the release.