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?