Intelligence agencies and analysts believe that the threat of U.S. cities coming under cruise missile attack from ships off the coast is real, sophisticated and evolving. The proliferation of cruise missiles, combined with a falling technology curve for biological, chemical, or even nuclear agents, is creating longer-term hazards on a whole new scale. Meanwhile, the June 2005 issue of Air Defense Artillery Magazine notes that experiences in Operation Iraqi Freedom showed that even conventional cruise missiles had tactical uses in the hand of a determined enemy.
The primary challenge for theater and national cruise missile defense is the development of a reliable look-down platform to detect, track and identify incoming missiles and support the over-the-horizon engagements in a timely manner. Hence JLENS.