The US Defense Department announced on Friday that it has plans to deploy long-range radar in central Alaska that enables the nation’s missile defense system to identify enemy missiles launched by Iran or North Korea.
The deployment increases the capacity of interceptors in the ground of Alaska and California and also assists the US ballistic missile defense system to address countermeasures, launched by enemy to confuse U.S. defensive systems.
Presently Missile Defense Agency is heading with the design and development of the long-planned new radar. Raytheon, Boeing and Lockheed Martin are competing to develop the new radar that is expected to cost about $1 billion.
The new radar begins operations in 2020 as required environmental and safety studies are yet to be completed. The radar would likely be placed at Clear Air Force Station, an Air Force Space Command radar station located in central Alaska.
Riki Ellison, founder of the nonprofit Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance said that placing the new radar in central Alaska rather than in the Alaskan Aleutian islands would allow the system to keep an eye on threats from both North Korea and Iran.
He added that it would also be considerable less cost to build the new radar in Alaska that could free up funding for an additional radar in Hawaii.
Missile Defense Agency Director James Syring and other senior Pentagon officials told Congress in March that the new radar was vital in protecting the nation against North Korea and Iran’s increasing capablilities.
The competition for awarding contract started in January and is expected to award a contract by September 30, which is the end of the current fiscal 2015 year.