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US newly developed powerful radar worth $ 2.2 billion proves ineffective

April 05, 2015, 4:41 UTC+3 LOS ANGELES
The project not only wasted taxpayer money but left a hole in the nation’s defenses, The Los Angeles Times noted
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© AP Photo/Ronen Zilberman

LOS ANGELES, April 5. /TASS/. The Sea-Based X-Band Radar, developed and designed by the Pentagon, which was supposed to become the core element of US’ missile defense system, turned out to be ineffective, The Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday.

"If North Korea launched a sneak attack, the Sea-Based X-Band Radar - SBX for short - would spot the incoming missiles, track them through space and guide US rocket-interceptors to destroy them," the newspaper said. "In reality, the giant floating radar has been a $2.2-billion flop, a Los Angeles Times investigation found. Although it can powerfully magnify distant objects, its field of vision is so narrow that it would be of little use against what experts consider the likeliest attack: a stream of missiles interspersed with decoys," the article states.

"SBX was supposed to be operational by 2005. Instead, it spends most of the year mothballed at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii," The LA Times said. However, "the project not only wasted taxpayer money but left a hole in the nation’s defenses," the newspaper noted.

The US Missile Defense Agency has spent around $10 billion on ineffective programs over the last years, according to the newspaper. At least three other projects turned out unsuccessful. Among them are the Airborne Laser aimed at destroying enemy missiles soon after launch (project closed in 2012, cost $5.3 billion), the Kinetic Energy Interceptor (closed in 2009 after six years of development, cost $1.7 billion) and the Multiple Kill Vehicle (program shelved after four years of development, cost $700 million).

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