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Posted: 1/10/2006 1:40:58 PM EDT
January 10, 2006

Powerful new radar visits Pearl

By Audrey McAvoy
Associated Press




HONOLULU — The military is taking strict security measures to protect an imposing visitor that arrived Monday at Pearl Harbor — a $900 million floating missile defense radar rig taller than a 20-story building.

The 280-foot tall Sea-Based X-band Radar is so powerful it can identify baseball-sized objects from thousands of miles away.

The Coast Guard is prohibiting anyone without prior permission from entering a 500-yard security zone around the ship. Those who violate the restriction may be fined up to $10,000 and have their vessel seized, the Missile Defense Agency said.

The radar is designed to tell the difference between decoys and real missile warheads, making it a critical component of the U.S. military’s effort to track and intercept missiles that may target the United States or its allies.

The floating radar will be based at Adak, a tiny outpost in Alaska halfway between Tokyo and Seattle. But it will also be able to sail anywhere in the Pacific to go where its tracking capabilities are most needed.

The Missile Defense Agency said the radar would feed data to the military to help it fire interceptor missiles from Alaska and California if the United States came under a long-range missile attack.

The radar platform sailed from Texas aboard the MV Blue Marlin on a route taking it around the southern tip of South America since it was too big to fit through the Panama Canal.

Though it is capable of sailing by itself, it rode aboard the Blue Marlin to save time and to avoid wear and tear.

The radar will undergo minor modifications at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard before leaving for Alaska in the spring.

The radar is the latest example of the military’s efforts to boost the nation’s missile defenses.

Last month, the military installed new interceptors in underground silos in Alaska and California.

Over the next three years, 18 ships in the U.S. Pacific Fleet will be equipped with the ability to intercept mid-range missiles.

These ships will also be equipped with the technology to track long-range missiles.




SEA-BASED X-BAND RADAR AT PEARL HARBOR
The high-tech facility is a combination of an advanced X-band radar and an oceangoing submersible platform:
Cost: $900 million
Speed: Classified
Craft: Twin-hulled and self-propelled
Length: 380 feet
Height: 280 feet from keel to top of radar dome
Crew: 75 members
Range: Classified (said to be able to detect an object the size of a baseball a continent away)
Source: Missile Defense Agency




Defense Radar Floats Into Pearl Harbor
Cedric Moon - cmoon@kgmb9.com

The sight from Oahu's freeways may have startled drivers Monday afternoon. A gigantic white ball was piggy-backing its way into Pearl Harbor.

But that "ball" was one of America's newest defenses against missile attacks. Hawaii was a pit stop for the Sea-Based X-Band Radar's 17,000 mile journey from Texas, where it was made, to where it will be eventually be based in Alaska in the spring.

"It's a sensor that will be integrated into the ballistic missile defense system," said Pam Rogers of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, "[It's] a sensor that will give information and discriminate targets for the Ballistic Missile Defense System."

The SBX Radar is the newest and one of the most sophisticated pieces in a defense system designed to fight any ballistic missile threat against the country. It was created by the Defense Department at the urging of President Bush in 2002.

"The United States of America will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the most destructive weapons," said the President in his 2002 State of the Union Address.

The radar is designed for the utmost precision -- able to spot an object the size of a baseball thousands of miles away. In the event of an attack, it can pinpoint a missile, then signal command centers around the country to take it out before any damage is done.

"It's a multi-layered system intended to intercept any type of ballistic missile in any phase of flight," said Rogers.

The X-Band Radar will go through some minor repairs at Pearl Harbor for a few months before setting out to sea to do its job of protecting the country.

Floating missile radar rig visits en route to Alaska
By Gregg K. Kakesako
gkakesako@starbulletin.com
It costs more than $900 million and looms more than 28 stories over the ocean -- about 10 stories taller than Aloha Tower.

Longer than a football field, the Sea-Based X-Band Radar is a high-tech, fifth-generation semisubmersible oil-drilling platform that is self-propelled and can be positioned any place in the world.

Designed to be integrated into the military's Ballistic Missile Defense System, the radar platform is so sensitive that it can detect objects more than a continent away.

For the next few weeks, the Missile Defense Agency's Sea-Based X-Band Radar will be berthed at Pearl Harbor undergoing refurbishment and even getting a new paint job.

As motor vessel Blue Marlin transported the 50,000-ton radar platform into Pearl Harbor yesterday, one spectator on Ford Island commented that its radar dome reminded him of the Marshmallow Man from the movie "Ghostbusters."

It will be at Pearl Harbor's Bravo Pier for repairs before departing for Adak in the Aleutian Islands later this spring under its own power.

Although much of what the mobile radar platform can do is classified, Pam Rogers, spokeswoman for the Missile Defense System in Huntsville, Ala., said its radar system is so sensitive that "if a baseball was launched on the West Coast, it could be detected on the East Coast by this radar."

Despite being home-ported in Alaska, the Navy said the sea-based radar will be capable of moving throughout the Pacific Ocean to support both advanced missile defense testing and operations to defend against ballistic missiles.

Pearl Harbor was one of six locations considered for the sea-based radar, Rogers said. However, on Aug. 15, 2003, the Missile Defense Agency decided on Adak.

The radar was manufactured in Corpus Christi and Brownsville, and left Texas on Nov. 14 for the 15,000-mile voyage to Hawaii. It was too large to fit in the Panama Canal and had to be transported around South America. It will be manned by 75 crew members.

Sea trials were conducted in the Gulf of Mexico for 52 days, and Rogers said the platform is "stable in high winds and turbulent sea conditions."

Its main deck houses living quarters, workspaces, storage, power generators, a bridge and control room.

The Blue Marlin is designed to carry very large semisubmersible drilling rigs, which can weigh 30,000 tons and have a center of gravity around 100 feet above the transport ship's deck.

Six years ago the Navy hired the Blue Marlin, owned by Dockwise Shipping of the Netherlands, to transport the destroyer USS Cole after it was crippled by terrorist bombs in Aden, Yemen.

The sea-based radar uses high-frequency and advanced radar signal processing technology to improve target resolution, permitting the radar to perform effectively against closely spaced warheads, debris and decoys.

Located off the coast of Alaska, the sea-based radar will be linked to up to 10 ground-based interceptors and will be part of Missile Defense Agency's initial test bed facility.

Boeing International Defense Systems is the prime contractor, and Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems is responsible for development and manufacturing of the Sea-Based X-Band Radar installed on the platform.


Link Posted: 1/10/2006 1:42:24 PM EDT
damn I love american innovation.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 1:42:42 PM EDT
Never in knew that existed.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 1:47:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 1:47:37 PM EDT
500 yard is a required Naval Vessel Protection Zone in force in all US waterways.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 1:48:34 PM EDT
I'm sure some hippies are protesting it
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 1:53:33 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 1:57:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By bastiat:
damn I love american innovation.



'Innovation'?.... Back to the Future!

Texas Towers



Still an AMERICAN invention (even if it was in Texas).
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 2:01:28 PM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 2:02:15 PM EDT
Heck ya! I watched them build it here for a while here. Big.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 2:07:08 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 2:12:14 PM EDT
Ah, the defense against the PRC and North Korea starts going up soon.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 2:14:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
Xband

great!!

every cheap radar detector in hawaii just went nuts!



+1

Link Posted: 1/10/2006 2:15:38 PM EDT
Does it get HBO?
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 2:17:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Housefull:

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
Xband

great!!

every cheap radar detector in hawaii just went nuts!



+1




Don't laugh, we used to set off garage door openers and supermarket doors with the jammers we had in our Navy aircraft back in the 80's.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 2:23:28 PM EDT
Alaska must be defended at all costs! No expense is too great for the Great Land.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 2:25:12 PM EDT
I'm laughing at the thought of 5000+ cars squeelling like stuck pigs with nobody around to pin the blame on.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 2:25:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By bastiat:
damn I love american innovation.



'Innovation'?.... Back to the Future!

Texas Towers



My thought too. Wonder if this will hold up as well?!

Interesting they would put this at Adak. The base is closed and everything has been turned over to the Aleuts again. I have fond memories of Adak. Horizontal snow storms, blizzards, walking the rope to the hangar, yeah it just goes on and on. During launchs we used to attach the lineman to the tug with a gunners harness. Once engines were running, he'd break down the nose tie-down and the tug would drive off with the lineman looking like a kite in the wind!
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 2:28:06 PM EDT
I wonder how long it takes to cook a chicken potpie?
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 2:51:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
Xband

great!!

every cheap radar detector in hawaii just went nuts!



Not Just hawaii, Texas. My radar detector just went crazy.

Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:10:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By bastiat:
damn I love american innovation.



'Innovation'?.... Back to the Future!

Texas Towers





Tonight at 9:00 EST on the History Channel..."Engineering Disasters"....a segment on the Texas Tower Radar Station.



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