Boeing’s Missile Tracker

Balls, Not Bombs.

June 24, 2011 Published in the July 2011 issue of Seattle Met

THE BOXY SHIP sporting a massive white globe, which tugged into Elliott Bay in May for maintenance, looks like a weapon a James Bond villain might covet. Docked in Vigor Shipyard on Harbor Island—and visible from downtown—the Sea-Based X-Band Radar-1 
is a Boeing-built missile tracking device, which, according to the U.S. Department of Defense, can spot a “baseball at a distance of 2,500 miles.” The 390-foot-long and 280-foot-tall vessel will be a part of the Seattle skyline 
till the end of the summer, when it will resume defending Americans against missiles—and, presumably, Ichiro-lobbed homers.

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