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Ballistic Missile Radar on Drilling Rig


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Seagoing Radar Rig Placed atop XBR Platform

 

By GLENN W. GOODMAN Jr.

April 14, 2005

From DefenceNews.

 

A 2,000-ton phased-array X-Band Radar (XBR) designed for ballistic missile defense was placed atop the Sea-Based XBR platform, a nine-story converted oil-drilling rig, at a shipyard in Corpus Christi, Texas, on April 3. The oceangoing, football-field-sized platform was set to relocate to the Gulf of Mexico for verification testing. This summer, it begins a five-to-seven-month voyage around Cape Horn to its primary base at Adak in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. The Sea-Based XBR will gather data in Missile Defense Agency Ballistic Missile Defense System tests across the Pacific Ocean and will track missiles launched from Asia, particularly from North Korea and China. It will link to the system’s nerve center in Colorado Springs, Colo., and to ground-based interceptor missiles being deployed at Fort Greeley, Alaska, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The powerful radar was designed and built by Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, Tewksbury, Mass.

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