U.S. Department of Defense - Missile Defense Agency

U.S. Department of Defense - Missile Defense Agency

Site Map
Official logo of the US Missile Defense Agency

Missile Defense Agency

MDA News Release

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

Notice of Availability of Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for Maintenance and Upgrade of the Sea-Based X-Band Radar Vessel

May 16, 2011

The Missile Defense Agency announced today the availability of the Final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact for the maintenance and upgrade of its Sea-Based X-Band (SBX) Radar Vessel at two Navy facilities as contingency locations. Potential environmental impacts associated with maintenance and upgrades of the vessel at these contingency locations are analyzed in the Final EA. Regularly scheduled maintenance and upgrades are required for continued operation. The SBX Radar Vessel is an integral part of the nation's Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS).

Two naval facilities, Naval Station Everett, Wash., and Naval Base Coronado-Naval Air Station North Island, Calif., were considered only as contingencies should unforeseen circumstances prevent work from being performed at Vigor Shipyard Seattle. The Final EA has been prepared to analyze potential effects at these two alternative federal facilities.

The work to include maintenance and upgrades is currently being done at Vigor Shipyard Seattle (formerly known as Todd Pacific Shipyards) in Seattle, Wash. Maintenance and upgrade work began last week and will take approximately three months to complete. 

The Missile Defense Agency held public outreach events in Everett and Langley, Wash., in July 2010 and in Coronado, Calif., in March 2011 to inform the public of the proposed maintenance and repair project. Public and agency comments were considered in the development of the Final EA.

The environmental analysis documented in the Final EA shows that no significant impacts would occur from maintenance activities associated with the proposed maintenance and upgrade activities. Preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement, therefore, is not required.

The SBX Radar Vessel became operational in 2005. It is one of the sensor systems supporting the nation's missile defense system. It requires routine maintenance and upgrades as well as mandatory recertification of structural and propulsion components. The X-band radar would not be turned on when the vessel is in port.

The Missile Defense Agency is responsible for developing, testing and deploying the BMDS. The SBX is a sensor that serves as a component of the BMDS, which is a layered system to defend the United States, its deployed forces and allies against all ranges of enemy ballistic missiles. The SBX Radar may also be used for related missions such as space surveillance.

The Final EA and Finding of No Significant Impact are available on the project website at http://www.govsupport.us/sbxea and at the following information repositories:

  • Coronado Public Library, 640 Orange Ave., Coronado, CA 92118
  • San Diego Central Library, 820 E St., San Diego, CA 92101
  • Everett Main Library, 2702 Hoyt Ave., Everett, WA 98201
  • South Whidbey Island, Langley Library, 104 Second St., Langley, WA 98260
  • Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104

SBX Resources:

-BMDS Sensors

-Fact sheet

-Media gallery