Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Saturday, June 24, 2006


This is coolbert:

"What wonders man hath wrought" - - Alexander Graham Bell.

What a wonder it is. Photo in the paper the other day shows the latest sea-based X Band radar in harbor at Pearl [Hawaii]. Going to undergo repairs, modifications, etc.

"Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (Jan. 10, 2006) - The heavy lift vessel MV Blue Marlin sits moored in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, with the Sea Based X-Band Radar (SBX) aboard after completing a 15,000-mile journey from Corpus Christi, Texas. SBX is a combination of the world's largest phased array X-band radar carried aboard a mobile, ocean-going semi-submersible oil platform. It will provide the nation with highly advanced ballistic missile detection and will be able to discriminate a hostile warhead from decoys and countermeasures. SBX will undergo minor modifications, post-transit maintenance and routine inspections in Pearl Harbor before completing its voyage to its homeport of Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands."

A part of the National Missile Defense [NMD] program.

This thing is a wonderment [a word coined by Cole Younger [??]

Looks like a big golf ball [the radome] on a platform, set on legs, on top of a barge.

This is part of the National Missile Defense program. The Bush administrations version of Star Wars missile defense.

This is a sound concept. You are not confined to having radars located ONLY on your own ground. Have this radar parked at sea where it is in a location to do the most good. Pick up a missile launched at the U.S. from a range hitherto not possible. Get advanced warning of enemy missile launch that gives the command authority more time to make informed decisions. Decisions that could mean life or death for millions.

This sea-going X-ban radar, part of the NMD, is an engineering marvel. Is like an adaption of those immense oil drilling platforms that sprout all over the world now. A good idea. Adapt what already exists and do not reinvent the wheel. Someone was thinking when they came up with the idea. Sound!.

There are now or will be land based versions of this radar.

A much more global reach is possible with a sea based system.

The U.S. has HAD a sea-going radar system used to monitor and gather intelligence on ballistic missile launches. This is Cobra Judy. NOT a part of the NMD system. More a part of what is called National Technical Means. Cobra Judy would normally operate in the Pacific, but conceivably go anywhere in the world if necessary. Such is the flexibility of a sea-going system.

Also impressive is that the entire barge and platform was moved 15,000 miles from Texas to Hawaii on the Blue Marlin. The same vessel that lifted the U.S.S. Cole out of the water and returned it to the U.S. for repairs. Center of the Marlin is submerged and then LIFTS the cargo out of the water for transport. Impressive.

Vessels such as the Marlin are called semi-submersible heavy lift ships!!

Yes they are!!



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home