The Department of Defense plans to increase funding over $278M for the operation, maintenance and modernization of a major radar system in Alaska that provides ballistic missile defense and supports space surveillance for national security. The investment comes as the DoD wants to update the Cobra Dane radar on Shemya Island to replace aging components that have been operating for the past 40 years, according to a new report the Government Accountability Office released Monday.
To help maintain and update the system, the Air Force is partnering with the Missile Defense Agency to share funding for its operation, maintenance and planned modernization projects for the Cobra Dane. The service branch plans to provide an additional $140M for the sustainment and maintenance of operational access to the radar’s site on Shemya Island. DoD also invested in new radar systems to reduce reliance on Cobra Dane.
The agency has provided funding to build and operate the Long Range Discrimination Radar in Alaska, the Space Fence in Oceania and a new Pacific Radar to help in ballistic missile defense and tracking of objects in space.