Giant sea-based radar undergoes $7M repair

The giant sea-based X-band radar has reappeared in Pearl Harbor again for repairs. This expensive piece of hardware has been plagued by problems from the start, when it began to take on water and had to return to Pearl Harbor for repairs. As William Cole reports, the radar will get $7 million in repairs in Hawai’i and later on the west coast.  According to Cole: “Adak, Alaska, was the radar’s intended home port, but the SBX has spent scant time there. It has never pulled into port in Adak, officials said.”

The radar represents one of the looming “eyes of the he’e”.  Kaleikoa Kaeo coined the metaphor of a giant he’e or octopus to describe the U.S. military in Hawai’i and the Pacific.   The radars, optical tracking devices and antenna are the “eyes” of this he’e whose tentacles stretch from the west coast of North America to the east coast of Africa, from Alaska to Antarctica.

The X-band radar is an important component of the missile defense system which is considered to be an escalation of the nuclear arms race with China and Russia.  Or perhaps, as one former missile defense engineer explained to me in disgust, the whole missile defense program is a scam designed to require constant improvements as a way of insuring a steady flow of contracts and work for military tech firms.


Giant sea-based radar undergoes $7M repair

By William Cole

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Aug 03, 2010

The Missile Defense Agency’s giant floating radar is in for some expensive repairs at Pearl Harbor and later on the West Coast.

The $1 billion ballistic missile tracker, known as the Sea-Based X-Band Radar, or SBX, arrived back at Pearl Harbor on July 13.

The Missile Defense Agency said the 280-foot-tall former oil rig will undergo about $7 million in repairs here.


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