Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: Sea-Based X-band Radar and XBR
Origin: United States of America
Boeing and Raytheon
Parent System: SBX
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2005
Total Production: 1
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Description: The Raytheon Sea-Based X-band (SBX or XBR) radar is a key element of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) System (GMDS). It comprises a X-band radar antenna sitting on the top of a modified oil-drilling platform named the SBX-1. It will provide ballistic missile tracking information as well as target and countermeasures discrimination for the GMD interceptor missiles and other ballistic missile defense systems being developed by the United States Department of Defense.
The SBX radar system will be able to track, discriminate and assess a variety of ballistic missile threats passing data to elements of the ballistic missile defense systems. The ballistic missile systems will ultimately provide this critical information to the ground- and sea-based interceptors which will destroy the threat. The SBX will continue relaying updated targeting information after the interceptor launches its kill-vehicle vehicle toward the incoming ballistic missile.
SBX-1 floating platform is a modified oil-drilling vessel, measures 240 feet wide (73 meters) and 390 feet long (118 meters). It includes a power plant, bridge and control rooms, living quarters, storage areas and the infrastructure necessary to support the massive X-band radar. The X-band radar, sitting on top of the vessel, is the largest, most sophisticated phased array, electro-mechanically steered X-band radar in the world, consisting of thousands of antennae driven by transmit/receive modules.
Integration work into SBX-1 sea-based platform was completed by a Boeing-led team in Corpus Christi, Texas, in early April 2005. The SBX system is expected to enter service supporting GMD in 2005 at its homeport of Adak, Alaska, in the Aleutian Islands. From Adak, SBX will be capable of moving throughout the Pacific Ocean. The SBX main issue is that the search area of the radar is too narrow and thus it is not workable and totally inoperative.
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