Sea-Based X-Band Radar Platform Completes Initial At-Sea Testing
Air Force Lt. General Henry "Trey" Obering, Missile Defense Agency director, announced March 24 that the Sea-Based X-Band Radar platform vessel had successfully completed five days of initial at-sea testing, having arrived at Kiewit Offshore Services in Corpus Christi, Texas, on March 17.
The Sea-based X-band Radar departed the Keppel/AMFELS shipyard in Brownsville, Texas on March 13 to conduct "builder's trials."
During builder's trials, the radar platform vessel completed a series of tests intended to verify the performance and safety of propulsion, ballasting, power generation, and auxiliary systems.
While at Kiewit Offshore Services the 2,000 tons (4 million pounds) X-band radar will be installed and integrated.
Following radar integration, the Sea-Based X-Band Radar will depart for an extended test and verification program in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Sea-Based X-Band Radar is being developed by the Missile Defense Agency to serve as a primary radar for the Ballistic Missile Defense System, and will be used to track ballistic missiles for both testing and actual defensive operations.
The powerful X-band radar will also provide advanced discrimination of decoys and countermeasures that could be used by a hostile ballistic missile during an actual missile attack on the United States.
When completed, the radar and platform will be 282 feet high and displace nearly 50,000 tons when at operating draft. Its on-board propulsion system will allow it to operate throughout the world's oceans if necessary.
Near-term plans call for it to be home-ported at Adak Island in the Aleutian Island chain, but it will also have the capability to support both testing and operations throughout the entire Pacific Ocean missile defense testbed.
Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is the prime contractor, and Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems is responsible for development and manufacturing of the X-band radar that will be installed aboard the platform.
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