Army slows deployment of key aerostat program

The Army has graduated the first two classes of soldiers trained to operate its longest-running aerostat developmental program, despite uncertaintly over the specifics of its initial deployment, reports Defense News.

The service has trained approximately 100 soldiers from A Battery, 3rd Air Defense Artillery stationed at Dugway Proving Grounds to run the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System (JLENS), the story said. It possesses a fire control radar system and a wide-area surveillance radar system connected by a ground control station.

The Army was moving toward deploying the system to a combatant command so that it could conduct operational tests in the field in the near future, but now intends to push that back until at least 2014 after the JLENS program has completed its engineering and manufacturing development phase, according to documents sent to Congress.

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