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Julie
31 Mar 05,, 20:42
WASHINGTON - The United States is readying an ultra-sophisticated radar system to float slowly around the world to Alaska where it will play a key role in a multibillion-dollar project to shoot down incoming ballistic missiles.

The 2,000-ton Sea-Based X-Band Radar is to be hoisted aboard a platform as large as two football fields this week or next, depending on wind and weather in Corpus Christi, Texas, where it has been under initial sea trials.

The radar is designed to track and distinguish long-range ballistic missiles from decoys that could be used in an attack on the United States.

After being assembled and tested extensively in the Gulf of Mexico, the entire structure will set sail on a five- to seven-month trip around Cape Horn at the tip of Latin America and into the Pacific bound for Alaska’s Aleutian islands.

“It will likely leave for its long journey some time between June and August,” said Richard Lehner of the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency, which is developing a multilayered shield against warheads that could carry chemical, germ or nuclear weapons.

The rig, capable of making 7 knots under its own power, should putter in to its primary base at Adak Island, in the Aleutians, by the end of the year, Lehner said. Details of its route and its escorts are not being disclosed publicly for security reasons, he said.

The platform’s on-board propulsion system makes it possible to operate it in oceans around the world, the Missile Defense Agency said in a statement last week. It said the Sea-Based X-Band Radar platform vessel had arrived in Corpus Christi March 17 from a shipyard in Brownsville, Texas.

Boeing Co. is the prime contractor for the so-called Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, and Raytheon Co. manufacturers the high-powered X-Band radar, which can use 69,632 multi-sectional circuits to transmit, receive and amplify signals, according to Raytheon.

Once the radar is mounted on the platform, a modified oil drilling rig, the setup will tower 282 feet from its keel to the top of the radar dome and displace nearly 50,000 tons while under way and fully crewed.

The main deck measures about 230 feet by 390 feet, too wide to pass through the Panama Canal, Lehner said.

It will be linked to the system’s nerve center in Colorado Springs and to a total of 18 ground-based interceptor missiles due to be deployed by the end of this year at Fort Greely, Alaska

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7339225/

Bill
01 Apr 05,, 01:26
Two weeks until we have an ability to at least try to defend an american city from a rogue launch.

Yay for us! :)

Confed999
01 Apr 05,, 01:35
Two weeks until we have an ability to at least try to defend an american city from a rogue launch.

Yay for us! :)
:) If we have to, hope it works!

Bill
01 Apr 05,, 02:03
I guarantee it will be more effective than what we have right now... ;)

Blademaster
05 Apr 05,, 20:01
Is this thing under military escort at all times? I sure hope so. I mean if I were the enemy, I'd try to take out the ship whatever I can, including seeding the clouds to produce hurricane force winds or pray to God for a divine intervention. :tongue: