The Missile Defense Agency is planning to have its Sea-Based X-Band Radar (SBX) undergo modifications and maintenance at the Todd Shipyard in Seattle, Washington. This determination was made in order to accommodate available shipyard space with required maintenance schedules. Work on the vessel’s thrusters and other modifications must begin in March 2011 to maintain its Certificate of Inspection issued by the American Bureau of Shipping.
Work is expected to start in March and will be ongoing for about 90 days, and the estimated cost of the work is expected to be about $9.4 million.
Maintenance to the vessel requires a port with water depth of at least 50 feet. There are only three facilities on the West Coast with water deep enough for this type of work. The other two are Naval Station Everett, Wash., and Naval Air Station North Island, Calif.
The SBX tracks, discriminates and assesses the flight characteristics of ballistic missiles. It is a unique combination of advanced X-band radar mounted on a mobile, ocean-going, semi-submersible platform that provides the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) with extremely powerful and capable radar that can be positioned to cover any region of the globe.