The U.S. Navy is moving a sea-based radar platform closer to the North Korean coast in order to monitor that country’s military moves, including possible new missile launches.


The Sea-Based X-Band Radar (SBX) is a floating, self-propelled, mobile radar station, and is designed to operate in high winds and heavy seas. It is part of the U.S. Defense Department Ballistic Missile Defense System.


  • Cost: $900 million
  • One of a kind
  • Built from a 50,000 ton semi-submersible seagoing platform purchased from Norway.
  • Boeing/Raytheon contracted to build the radar systems.
  • Self sufficient for 60 days.
  • Length: 389 ft
  • Beam: 238 ft
  • Draft: 33ft
  • Speed: 9 kt
  • Crew: up to 87
  • The radar system is derived from the radar used in the Aegis combat system.
  • Uses computers and radars to track and guide weapons to destroy targets.
  • Part of the layered ballistic missile defense program of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.
  • One difference from Aegis is the use of X band in the Sea-Based radar system.
  • Aegis uses S band, the Patriot system uses the higher-frequency C band, and the SBX uses the X band frequency which is higher still. Its shorter wavelength enables finer resolution of tracked objects.
  • The most advanced steered phased array x-band radar on the planet.

What’s the big deal?

The radar has been described as being able to track an object the size of a baseball over San Francisco, California from the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, approximately 2,900 miles away.

What’s the significance?

It means that the U.S. is highly concerned of a North Korean launch of some sort.

Did you know that they may have Super-EMP capabilities?

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