Updated Table of Radar Participation in GMD Intercept Tests Using Operationally-Configured Interceptors. (August 3, 2015)

–The PAVE PAWS radars in AK and MA are not yet part of the GMD system.

–Because of its location and orientation, Cobra Dane has never participated in a GMD intercept test.

–The BMEWS radars in Greenland and Britain are unable to observe GMD intercept tests.

RadarParticipation

Y = Transmitted data in real time to system.

F = Same as Y, but sensor experienced a failure.

O = Observed some part of test off-line. In the case of the Beale PAVE PAWS, participation may be limited to only observing part of the interceptor flyout.

N = Not used to observe test.

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2 Comments

  1. THOMAS BARTON JD

     /  August 4, 2015

    IS COBRA DANE THE X BAND SITE AT SHEMYA ? IS THERE EVER GOING TO BE AN OPPORTUNITY TO FULLY TEST THAT SITE’S CAPABILITY WHEN THE NORTH KOREANS ARE SO MERCURIAL AND MIGHT REGARD SUCH A TEST AS A PRELUDE TO THE US TAKING ACTION AGAINST ITS LAUNCH FACILITIES ? DEALING WITH KIM JONG UN MUST BE AKIN TO HANDLING A KING COBRA THAT IS STOKED HIGH AS A KITE ON METHAMPHETAMINE.

    Reply
    • Cobra Dane is a large L-band (about 1.3 GHz) radar on Shemya. It was originally built to monitor Soviet ballistic missile test flights. Unfortunately, its orientation towards Siberia makes it poorly suited for observing N. Korea missiles launched towards the US. Such missiles would only pass through the outer edges (that is, far from the radar’s boresight direction) of its coverage. In such situations, it does not provide resolution any better than the early warning radars. It does have a higher resolution mode (about 1.1 m range resolution), but only within 22.5 degrees of boresite, which no N. Korean missile could pass through if headed toward the US.
      Because of its orientation, Cobra Dane not been used in a GMD intercept test nor is it likely that it ever will. MDA has flown at least one-air launched missile target through its field of view to collect data, but no effort was made to intercept the missile. I would expect that simulated Cobra Dane data has been used in some intercept tests or ground exercises.

      Reply

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