Ginormous Golf Ball, Ctd.

William Cole of the _Honolulu Advertiser_ is still on “the story”: of the floating missile defense radar at Pearl Harbor. “Nathan Hodge”: spotted “this one”:

bq. The 280-foot-tall radar platform is undergoing $34 million in repairs here. Officials with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, which oversees the SBX, yesterday said work is continuing with scheduled shipyard activities. It referred all other questions to the Pentagon.

OK, so it’s not just there for the weather.

4 thoughts on “Ginormous Golf Ball, Ctd.

  1. Allen Thomson

    The entire GMD part of BMDS (are we acronimificated yet?) seems to be way behind where it was intended to be in the mid-2000s. SBX is around five years late in getting deployed to Adak and looks like it may hang around at Pearl Harbor most of the time indefinitely. Deployment of more interceptor missiles to Ft. Greely seems to be on hold or way slowed down. Honest testing in realistic scenarios is TBD.


  2. Allen Thomson

    Further and more: I just noticed that the MDA overview booklets for 2008 and 2009 refer to Adak as the “forward operating base” for SBX rather than as its home port. My understanding of the subtleties of milspeak is limited, but I wonder if calling Adak an FOB doesn’t reflect some change in basing plans.

  3. Josh

    So what you’re saying, Allen, is that maybe it is the weather.

    I’m sure the crew of SBX and the habitues of Pearl Harbor are pretty jaded by now, but it’s quite a visually striking artifact. There’s a really nice picture online.

  4. Allen Thomson

    > So what you’re saying, Allen, is that maybe it is the weather.

    Well, the weather would do it for me, but I suspect there may be another reason: Hawaii has operating shipyard facilities and Adak doesn’t. SBX is intended to be a critical component in the GMD missile defense system and there’s only one of it, with no signs of a second one in sight.

    The maritime environment is a harsh one, and most large ships need significant amounts of shipyard work on a continuing basis. So it would seem logical to have SBX operate out of Pearl Harbor and only deploy it to Adak for short periods or in times of increased threat of ICBM attack against CONUS.


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