News / USA

N. Korea Tensions Prompt Change in US Air Force Radar Plans

FILE - A view of COBRA DANE, an intelligence-gathering phased array radar system. The 21st Operations Group is in charge of the radar mission at Eareckson Air Station, Shemya Island, Alaska.
FILE - A view of COBRA DANE, an intelligence-gathering phased array radar system. The 21st Operations Group is in charge of the radar mission at Eareckson Air Station, Shemya Island, Alaska.
Reuters
The U.S. Air Force has reversed budget-driven plans to reduce use of a missile-warning radar on the Aleutian Islands in light of heightened tensions with North Korea, the general in charge of space and cyberspace operations said on Tuesday.

Struggling to find $508 million in savings for fiscal 2013, Air Force officials initially decided to scale back use of the radar to quarter power for the rest of the year. The move would have saved about $5 million.

"With the situation in North Korea, we've decided to leave that at full power," General William Shelton, commander of Air Force Space Command, told reporters at a conference in Colorado Springs.

He declined comment on any additional changes being made due to tensions with North Korea, but said the Pentagon was watching developments closely.

FILE - Gen. William Shelton, Commander, U.S. Air Force Space Command, testifies on Capitol Hill, Sept. 15, 2011.FILE - Gen. William Shelton, Commander, U.S. Air Force Space Command, testifies on Capitol Hill, Sept. 15, 2011.
x
FILE - Gen. William Shelton, Commander, U.S. Air Force Space Command, testifies on Capitol Hill, Sept. 15, 2011.
FILE - Gen. William Shelton, Commander, U.S. Air Force Space Command, testifies on Capitol Hill, Sept. 15, 2011.
"The entire Department of Defense, us included, [is] paying very close attention to the provocations by the North Koreans," Shelton said when asked about any actions taken by Air Force Space Command in response to the crisis. "You can let your mind go from there, but we're paying attention."

The comments came the same day that the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific told Congress the United States is capable of intercepting a North Korean missile, should Pyongyang launch one in the coming days. But Washington may choose not to shoot it down if the projected trajectory shows it is not a threat.

The Aleutian Islands are a chain of 14 large volcanic islands and 57 smaller ones that extend about 1,200 miles (1,900 km) from the western coast of Alaska.

The Air Force has operated various missile-tracking radars on one of the islands, Shemya, since 1943. It has a 95-foot diameter active electronically scanned array AN/FPS-108 Cobra Dane radar built by Raytheon Co at Eareckson Air Station on the island.

Shelton said the Air Force's initial plan to reduce the radar's power would have eliminated its ability to track objects in space, but the Air Force has other ways to carry out that work.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
April 10, 2013 1:43 AM
Caution needs to be excercised wrt dealing with a missile from an unpredictable opponent like NKorea, irespective of its initial trajectory, and its perceived end trajectory- No person will know---> the payload (no-payload?conventional explosive payload? chemical or biological payload? nuclear payload? or ?) nor if it has terminal guidance that could alter end trajectory; therefore it would be better if the missile failed/crashed in/at a safe area/location.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid