Unusual radar vessel enters Puget Sound

May 11, 2011

An unusual vessel headed for a Seattle shipyard could attract a lot of attention this week as it moves through Puget Sound.

It's a mobile radar station mounted on a floating oil-drilling platform.

The Sea-Based X-Band radar vessel is operated by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and operates in the Pacific, watching for ballistic missile.

"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,  " according the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.

Boeing won a $27 million contract for the upgrade and maintenance work to be performed at Vigor Shipyard, formerly the Todd Pacific Shipyard in Seattle.

The radar will not be operating while in port. The public is required to stay at least 100 yards away from the vessel.