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This Huge Radar Protects The US From Surprise Missile Attacks

Eareckson Air Station lies at the farthest edge of the American Frontier 1,4555 miles west of Anchorage, Alaska. It is home to one of the largest radars ever built and is named as Cobra Dane. It permanently faces westward and warns in case of a surprise missile attack.

Cobra Dane was built to support the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty II or SALT II in 1976. It is located on the tip of Shemya island. The structure is 120 feet tall with a radar array 94.5 feet across and it is so large that it can be seen from space.

The main component, an L-Band phased array radar operates in the 1175-1375 MHz ranges. The radar is built in such a way that it has 136 degrees of radar coverage. It means that the radar is powerful enough to watch a 2,000-mile corridor within Russia, keeping track of missile and satellite launches.

(Source: Popular Mechanics)

It can detect and track as many as 120 targets while keeping precise tracking data on 20 of them. It also serves a space surveillance role. It can gather data on satellites and space junk that might cause problems to a spaceflight. It has a space range of 28,583 miles. The Cobra Dane can store data on 12,000 space objects at a time.

The Eareckson Air Station is the only human settlement on the island and it is so close to Russia that airmen can actually see the Russian territory on a clear day. You can watch the video below to see how the island really looks like.

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