The Defense Department wants to upgrade radar technology on the Air National Guard’s F-16 fighters in an effort to protect the U.S. against cruise missile threats, Defense One reported Thursday.
Marcus Weisgerber writes Adm. William Gortney, head of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, filed an urgent operational need request to equip F-16s with active electronically scanned arrays intended to detect and intercept smaller missiles.
“We’re devoting a good deal of attention to ensuring we’re properly configured against such an attack in the homeland, and we need to continue to do so,” Adm. Sandy Winnefeld, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was quoted as saying by Defense One.
The goal is to network AESAs with sensor-equipped aerostat balloons and coastal warships, the report said.
DoD partnered with Raytheon to build and test aerostat-based Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensors at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland.
Winnefeld said he believes JLENS would help warn the department about potential security threats around the national capital region, according to Defense One.