High-Spec U.S. Radar to Monitor N.Korean Rocket

The U.S. is moving a floating platform with a Sea-Based X-Band Radar system from Hawaii to the Western Pacific in preparation for North Korea's imminent launch of a space rocket.

A South Korean military source on Wednesday said the U.S. will send the same SBX to the Western Pacific as it did in April.

The radar is supposedly capable of identifying a baseball from about 4,800 km away, operating on a wavelength of 2.5 cm and transmitting electromagnetic waves using a powerful generator. The shorter radar waves are, the higher the resolution.

A Sea-Based X-Band Radar /From the Pentagon’s website A Sea-Based X-Band Radar /From the Pentagon’s website

The SBX is a key component of a defense system the U.S. is developing to intercept missiles targeting the U.S. mainland. It is capable of detecting missiles thousands of kilometers away so that interceptor missiles can hit them with precision.

It is carried by a huge oil drill ship. Made in Russia, the ship is 73 m long, 119 m wide and 60 m high and moves at snail's pace of 15 km/h, but it can withstand 15-m waves.

englishnews@chosun.com / Dec. 06, 2012 11:15 KST