USD2 billion floating missile defence radar back in Hawaii

HONOLULU (AP) — A large missile defence radar mounted on a modified floating oil platform has returned to Hawaii.

The USD2 billion Sea-Based X-Band Radar was back at Pearl Harbor for regular maintenance and installation of system upgrades, Missile Defence Agency spokeswoman Maria Njoku told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Shore personnel will conduct inspections and surveys, and crew members will receive training, she said.

The Missile Defence Agency plans to keep the radar, which resembles a giant golf ball, at sea for over 300 days in the next fiscal year beginning October 1 to “address the continued missile test activity in North Korea”.

The agency plans to have the radar spend 330 days at sea each year between 2021 and 2024.

The military also plans to build a series of land-based sensors that will also track ballistic missiles.

These include the USD1 billion Homeland Defence Radar-Hawaii, which is expected to be operational in 2023.

“With the addition of the long-range discriminating radar in Alaska, the homeland defence radar in Hawaii and the future Pacific radar, we will have in place a diverse sensor architecture in the Pacific to provide an improved and persistent” missile-tracking capability, former Missile Defence Agency Director Lieutenant General Sam Greaves testified in April.