U.S. Department of Defense - Missile Defense Agency

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Missile Defense Agency

MDA News Release

5700 18th Street, Bldg 245
Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-5573

SBX Radar Vessel Transits Puget Sound Towards Seattle's Vigor Shipyards

May 9, 2009

The Missile Defense Agency's Sea-Based X-Band Radar (SBX) vessel will enter the Strait of Juan de Fuca later today and begin its transit of Puget Sound to arrive at Vigor Shipyard Seattle (formerly Todd Pacific Shipyards) in Seattle, Washington, late Tuesday night.  The SBX is visiting the shipyard for maintenance and upgrades.  This work will begin in mid-May and will take about three months to complete. The radar will not be based in the Seattle area, and will not operate while in the shipyard. All vessel movements and work associated with the SBX are fully compliant with all environmental, health, and hazard laws and ordnances.

The first view of the SBX for some residents in the Pacific Northwest will likely be when the vessel is just off shore before entering the Strait of Juan de Fuca tonight.  It should be visible from Port Angeles Tuesday morning.  The vessel can be seen from various points as it makes its way through Puget Sound to Elliott Bay and to Vigor Shipyards Seattle, arriving late Tuesday night.

The SBX Radar is one of the sensors for our nation's missile defense system. Its mission is to identify ballistic missile threats and relay that information to the battle management, command, control and communications system for missile defense.  

While SBX is transiting in the navigable waters of the U.S., and while moored at Vigor Shipyard Seattle, a naval vessel protection zone (NVPZ) will be in effect around this vessel. The US Coast Guard will be assisting with the NVPZ. 

A media availability is planned for Wednesday, May 11th at Vigor Shipyard Seattle.  Any news outlet wishing to attend that has not already done so should contact Pam Rogers at Pamela.Rogers@mda.mil or 256-503-3726.  Further details regarding the media availability will be sent in a subsequent message.

SBX Resources: