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COBRA DANE is a national technical intelligence sensor, located on the island of Shemya, Alaska, at Eareckson AF Station. In February 1972 Headquarters USAF assigned Rome Air Development Center [RADC] responsibility for technical engineering of the COBRA DANE radar system in Shemya, Alaska. RADC work on technology used in COBRA DANE began as early as 1955 with SARAC, the Steerable Array Radar and Communications program. COBRA DANE was designed as an intelligence gathering radar capable of collecting data on Soviet missile launch tests into Kamchatka or the Pacific Ocean. In conjunction with the Electronic Systems Division, the Center worked on performance specifications and the Statement of Work for the system, and requests for proposals were sent to numerous companies. Raytheon eventually won the contract. By 1976 RADC completed technical assistance and engineering support for installation and testing of the COBRA DANE radar system. The COBRA DANE radar system was completed and turned over to the Air Defense command in July 1977. In 1978, the RADC Cobra Dane Program Director's Office was awarded an Air Force Organizational Excellence Award for its efforts.

First deployed in 1977, the AN/FPS-108 radar operates in the 1215-1400 MHz band using a 29m phased array antenna. The primary mission is to track and collect data on foreign intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) test launches to the Kamchatka impact area and the broad ocean impact areas in the Pacific Ocean. The metric and signature data collected support START 2 and INF treaty monitoring, and scientific and technical intelligence efforts.


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