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Option 1: MDA’s Planned European System


MDA’s plans also call for deploying a forward-based radar, although the location and description of the radar have not yet been specified. For this analysis, CBO assumed that the radar would resemble an AN/TPY-2 transportable X-band radar with a range of 1,000 km.

Press reports suggest that MDA has considered a location in the Caucasus region for the FBR; in this study, CBO assumed that the radar would be located in Azerbaijan. (That location was used in all four of the options.) The antenna of the AN/TPY-2 has a field of regard of 120 degrees in azimuth, with electronic steering available to move the radar beam quickly within that field. However, a mechanical steering kit is being developed to allow physical movement of the antenna, so that a single radar antenna can be extended to a full 360-degree field of regard in azimuth. CBO assumed that mechanical steering kits would be used for all of the AN/TPY-2 radars in this study.

The siting of a forward-based radar is critical to successful missile defense in Europe. The earlier the trajectory of a threat missile can be determined, the more time will be available for interceptors to fly to distant intercept points, expanding the area that can be defended. CBO chose Azerbaijan as the notional location for a forward-based radar because it is near Iran and would allow early tracking of the midcourse phase of missiles launched from both northern and southern Iran toward northern Europe and the continental United States. Trajectories of intercontinental ballistic missiles heading for Alaska or Hawaii would be out of range of the radar as modeled, however, as would missiles launched from southern Iran toward southern Europe. (Proposals have been made to use Russian radars in the GMD Block 4.0 system; for more details, see Box 2-2.)

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