Pictures Mean More than a Thousand Words

November 22, 2005

Dear Members and Friends,

The video of the successful Aegis/SM-3 sea-based test last week adds more than words, pictures, and declarations can do…

In addition, last week, off the coast of Texas, near Corpus Christi, the sea-based floating X-band radar (SBX) was loaded onto the heavy transport ship, the Blue Marlin, in a unique operation as portrayed in the pictures enclosed.

The SBX is the world’s largest X-band radar and can detect, track, discriminate, and transmit real-time target information to a multiple number of current operational land and sea-based missile defense assets, as well as to command and control centers. The floating and mobile radar tracks objects smaller than a baseball going over a hundred miles in space. The SBX will be positioned in the most north western US territory of the Bering Sea in the Aleutian Island Chain in Adak, Alaska.

Due to the immensity of the SBX, which is physically unable to sail through the Panama Canal, the voyage to Adak, Alaska will go around South America via the Strait of Magellan. Placing the SBX on the Blue Marlin not only protects the wear and tear of a lengthy sea-going voyage, but also saves a large amount of tax dollars in fuel costs. A self-propelled SBX going three knots an hour or less would use over two times as much fuel as the Blue Marlin would use on the same trip.

The reality of having these sea-based assets gives the US and its allies real capability towards deterring and dissuading states, actors, and entities wishing to use ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction for political means.

Resource Library


Curtis Stiles - Chief of Staff