Sea-Based X-Band Radar (SBX)
consists of an advanced radar system mounted on a floating platform.
Once operational, it will be able to track, discriminate, and assess
long-range ballistic missiles as part of the Missile Defense Agency’s Ground-Based
Midcourse Defense (GMD) system. It will be located just off the
coast of Alaska and will be linked to 10 ground-based interceptor
missiles deployed at Fort
Greely in Alaska and Vandenberg
Air Force Base in California.
Vern, this is sure different from the puny radars we had on the "K",
but even then it was fun- that little surface radar and the air radar
we had could pick up stuff a long way off, if it was high enough; when
we'd go to Yokusuka, we could pick up Mt. Fuji, because of it's
height, from over 100 miles away. Someday, I'd like to sit
in a modern day radar room on a ship- I'd be lost with the modern tech
After a successful loading operation at the Kiewit Offshore Services yard in Ingleside, Texas, U.S.A. the 76,410 dwt Blue Marlin departed on Friday 18 November late afternoon for her voyage to the Pacific via South America.
In order to save valuable time as well as for safety of the unit, the Boeing Company of U.S.A. and the American Missile Defense Agency (MDA) made the decision to contract Dockwise for dry transport.
The SBX has a length of 121 metres (389 ft), a beam of 76 metres (238 ft) and a height of 86 metres (252 ft). The SBX is a unique combination of an advanced X-band radar mounted on a mobile, ocean-going platform that will become part of the U.S. Ballastic missile defense system, components of which are deployed throughout the coastal and island regions of the Pacific Ocean.
The pictures show the loading sequence of the SBX on board of the Blue Marlin using the so-called 'float-on' loading system.
The Blue Marlin submerged with 10 metres waterdepth above the deck, in order to load the SBX. With an accuracy of several centimetres (inches) this enormous load is positioned on the wooden cribbing. After careful positioning of the cargo the Blue Marlin deballasted, after which the cargo deck becomes dry again. Hereafter the seafastening operation started -welding the cargo to the deck of the Blue Marlin using special designed constructions- which took approx. 2 days.