The Air Force Technical Applications Center has a welcome addition to its treaty monitoring capabilities – the Cobra King radar system aboard the USNS Howard O. Lorenzen.
Cobra King is a new, state-of-the-art mobile radar system consisting of S- and X-band phased radars that AFTAC employs to provide worldwide, high quality, high resolution, multi-wavelength radar data to the Department of Defense’s strategic community, the Missile Defense Agency and other government agencies.
The radar and ship are the sea component of DoD’s Cobra program that monitors missile and space launches. Other Cobra platforms include the Cobra Ball (airborne tracker) Cobra Dane (stationary array), Cobra Shoe (overseas antenna site) and AFTAC’s recently decommissioned maritime vessel, Cobra Judy (USNS Observation Island).
The vessel is operated by Military Sealift Command under a support agreement with AFTAC. The ship operates with a combined crew of civilian mariners who are responsible for operating and navigating the ship, as well as military technicians and civilian contractors who operate and maintain the radar and communications equipment.