Cobra King Joins Air Force Missile Launch Monitors

The Air Force Technical Applications Center has a new sea-based asset for its mission to monitor missile and space launches for possible treaty violations—the Cobra King radar system aboard the USNS Howard O. Lorenzen. Cobra King is a mobile radar system with S- and X-band phased array radars that the AFTAC can employ to help provide worldwide, high-resolution, multi-wavelength radar data to the Defense Department’s strategic community, the Missile Defense Agency, and other government entities. It joins the other Cobra facilities, which include the airborne Cobra Ball, the US land-based Cobra Dane, and the overseas Cobra Shoe. Cobra King replaces the decommissioned Cobra Judy ship. The ship is operated by the Military Sealift Command, part of the US Transportation Command, and has a crew of civilian mariners with military technicians and contactor personnel from AFTAC, headquartered at Patrick AFB, Fla., to operate and maintain the Cobra King radar and communications equipment. The radar system is the product of a $1.74 billion contract to Raytheon, with Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, IBM, and Kiewit Offshore Services as subcontractors. (AFTAC release)