Digital Desk, Seoul/Washington. The US has completed construction of a new long-range radar in Alaska designed to provide early warning for incoming ballistic missiles from North Korea and other countries. A top defense official has given this information.
Vice Admiral John Hill, director of the US Missile Defense Agency, also said that the new long-range detection radars (LRDRs) would be powerful enough to detect lethal objects such as warheads so that the US could successfully intercept such objects. Yonhap News Agency gave this information on Tuesday.
Hill, referring to North Korea in a virtual media roundtable, said there is a rogue nation (in the Indo-PACOM region) targeting the US that has repeatedly and recently tested ballistic missile capability.
He said the radar was strategically placed in Alaska with such a wide area that we can catch threats coming from that area. His remarks came soon after the US marked the initial fielding of the new radar, which the MDA director said would be fully operational around 2023 after testing and systems integration.
After several missile provocations from North Korea, the US began manufacturing long-range radar. Pyongyang has maintained a moratorium on long-range ballistic missiles since November 2017 but this year staged several short-range missile tests. September included a test launch of a self-claimed hypersonic missile and a submarine-launched ballistic missile.
Hill said the LRDR would eventually be upgraded to track hypersonic missiles, although its current focus is on ballistic missile threats detection. Yet the radar would be very powerful and would pick out lethal objects as opposed to decoys or non-lethal objects from missiles such as boosters or fuel cans.