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Cobra King
USNS Howard O. Lorenzen
(Missile Range Instrumentation Ship T-AGM-25)
Cobra Judy Replacement (CJR)

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 COBRA JUDY REPLACEMENT (CJR) program replaced the capability of the current United States Naval Ship (USNS) Observation Island (OBIS), its COBRA JUDY radar suite, and other mission essential systems. CJR fulfilled the same mission as the current COBRA JUDY/OBIS. CJR collected foreign ballistic missile data in support of international treaty verification.

CJR represented an integrated mission solution: ship, radar suite, and other Mission Equipment (ME). CJR consisted of a radar suite including active S-Band and X-Band Phased Array Radars (PARs), weather equipment, and a Mission Communications Suite (MCS). The radar suite was capable of autonomous volume search and acquisition. The S-Band PAR served as the primary search and acquisition sensor and was capable of tracking and collecting data on a large number of objects in a multi-target complex. The X-Band PAR provided very high-resolution data on particular objects of interest.

The OBIS replacement platform, USNS Howard O. Lorenzen (Missile Range Instrumentation Ship (T-AGM) 25), is a commercially designed and constructed ship, classed to American Bureau of Shipping standards, certified by the U.S. Coast Guard in accordance with Safety of Life at Sea, and in compliance with other commercial regulatory body rules and regulations, and other Military Sealift Command (MSC) standards. The ship is U.S. flagged, operated by a Merchant Marine or MSC Civilian Mariner crew, with a minimum of military specifications. The ship is projected to have a 30-year operating system life-cycle.

The Navy accepted the delivery of missile range instrumentation ship USNS Howard O. Lorenzen (T-AGM 25) 10 January 2012. Constructed by VT Halter Marine in Pascagoula, Miss., T-AGM 25 was the replacement for the existing USNS Observation Island, which was launched in 1953. The ship would provide worldwide, high-quality, dual-band radar data in support of ballistic missile treaty verification. Accepting delivery of this ship represented the official transfer of T-AGM 25 from the shipbuilder to the Navy and is a major milestone in the ship's transition to operational status.

The ship was christened in June 2010 by the ship's sponsor, Susan Lorenzen Black, daughter of ship's namesake, the late Dr. Howard O. Lorenzen, a distinguished Naval Research Laboratory scientist. Considered to be the "Father of Electronic Warfare," Howard O. Lorenzen was an electrical engineer for the Naval Research Laboratory who was instrumental in the creation of the U.S.'s electronic intelligence capabilities.

In a career that spanned 33 years at the Washington, D.C., based Naval Research Laboratory, Howard Otto Lorenzen developed the distinction as the "Father of Electronic Warfare" for his development of radio countermeasures that could exploit detected or interrupted electromagnetic transmissions for military purposes, intelligence gathering and electronic countermeasures — a pioneering concept that was the genesis of modern day electronic warfare.

"Lorenzen understood and the Navy realized the value and relevance of not only detecting enemy radio and electronic transmissions, but that recording, analyzing and deciphering these transmissions and developing intuitive countermeasures would prove to be an integral and vital function to the future of national security," said Pete Wilhelm, Director, NRL Naval Center for Space Technology.

Beginning his NRL career in 1940 as a radio engineer under the leadership of radar pioneer, Albert Hoyt Taylor, Lorenzen got his first taste of electronic countermeasures when he unintentionally jammed the signal of radar being tested at the lab's Radar Division. As the U.S. entered World War II with the attack on Pearl Harbor, Lorenzen's research focused on developing electronic means to detect, locate, jam and otherwise deceive enemy radar and other electronic locating equipment, ushering in a new era of warfare to benefit U.S. military countermeasures.

In 1970, Deputy of Defense Secretary David Packard aligned space system acquisition responsibilities with those for weapon systems acquisitions and authorized the military departments to pursue departmental need for space systems. NRL turned to Lorenzen to repeat in space what he had accomplished in EW - design total systems for military operational support — and in 1971 named Lorenzen superintendent of NRL Space Systems. Lorenzen served as superintendent of NRL space systems until his retirement from NRL in June 1973.

Ship delivery followed completion of acceptance trials in November 2011. The ship was initially at Kiewit Offshore Services in Corpus Christi, Texas, for planned radar installation, integration, and testing. The government-provided communications suite was complete.

The 12,575-ton, 534-foot ship was initially crewed and operated by Military Sealift Command (MSC). Currently crewed by civil service mariners, Lorenzen is expected to transition to a crew of commercial mariners working for private companies under contract to MSC when the ship achieves initial operational capability in 2013.

The Cobra Judy Replacement program replaced the U.S. Naval Ship (USNS) Observation Island which had become unsustainable and was due to leave service no later than 2012. This program funded the development of a single ship-based radar suite for world wide technical data collection against ballistic missiles in flight. Prior funding provided instrumentation of quality radar data and imaging, detailing threat assessment of ballistic missile development, testing and range augmentation and monitored or verified specific aspects of United States treaties with other countries. To avoid vulnerabilities in US national security it was imperative that the Navy replace the current capability of Cobra Judy in a timely manner to prevent any potential gap in coverage. Prior studies have indicated that a ship-based radar replacement is the most timely and cost effective solution.

The acquisition strategy called for leveraging ongoing Navy Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) radar development, updating existing user interface/communications/data handling equipment designs from a similar operational unit, and purchasing and integrating the mission equipment aboard an appropriate merchant-class hull. System design will be accomplished using in-hand technologies and commercial standards to lower schedule risk and produce a product with the lowest possible life-cycle cost.

Raytheon combined a unique knowledge and experience of the Cobra Judy mission with proven expertise in mission systems integration to achieve customer success on this vital national program. Raytheon leveraged existing technology from its open architecture- based family of radars, which includes the DD(X) dual-band radar, the sea- based High-Power Discrimination radar, and the Theater High-Altitude Area Defense radar. The acquisition strategy calls for leveraging ongoing Navy Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) radar development, updating existing user interface/communications/data handling equipment designs from a similar operational unit, and purchasing and integrating the mission equipment aboard an appropriate merchant-class hull. System design was accomplished using in-hand technologies and commercial standards to lower schedule risk and produce a product with the lowest possible life-cycle cost.

The CJR team replaced the existing Cobra Judy and USNS Observation Island, fielded by Raytheon in the early 1980s, to provide the strategic community, the Missile Defense Agency, and related communities with a long- loiter, foreign ballistic missile data collection capability in support of international treaty verification.

The Raytheon-led team designed, fabricated, integrated and tested the dual band radar suite and provide engineering and management support for procurement of the CJR ship. As the principal teammate, Northrop Grumman Corporation was responsible for the design, fabrication, integration and test of the S-band array antenna for the CJR Mission Equipment suite. The S-band active phased array radar is a directed $350 million subcontract to Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation, Electronic Systems.

The cost of the project, which was awarded to primary contractor Raytheon, was valued more than $1.74 billion. Northrup Grumman, General Dynamics, IBM and Kiewit Offshore Services were involved in the project. Work on the CJR Mission Equipment was performed at Raytheon facilities in New England, San Diego, Calif., and at Northrop Grumman facilities in Baltimore, Md. The facility in Sudbury performed 30 percent of the work; the facility in Andover performed 20 percent of the work; the facility in Bedford performed 5 percent of the work; and, the facility in Tewksbury performed 5 percent of the work.

Cobra Judy Replacement (CJR) Developments

Verbal approval to explore the CJR concept was received on 15 January 2002. In a new initiative, the State Department transferred funds in July 2002 to the Department of Defense to help preserve a technical collection capability critical to the State Department's verification mission. These funds were used to establish a program to replace the aging COBRA JUDY radar, a sea-borne system that contributes to verifying the START Treaty and characterizing foreign ballistic missile systems, as well as a Program Office, and enable the United States to acquire a replacement several months early, saving about a year in development time and hedging against a gap in collection coverage. Cobra Judy Replacement was transferred from the Air Force to the Navy, per an Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Milestone A Acquisition Decision Memorandum dated 6 August 2002.

The Cobra Judy Replacement program successfully reached Milestone B/C, resulting in an approved Acquisition Strategy. The 2003 CAIG estimate is consistent with the approved Acquisition Strategy. The PB 05 submission reflected the current CAIG estimates.

On 18 December 2003 the US Navy awarded Raytheon Company a $1.04 billion letter contract for the Cobra Judy Replacement (CJR) Mission Equipment program. Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems will replace the existing Cobra Judy -- an integrated, computer-driven surveillance and data collection radar system that supports U.S. treaty monitoring activities -- with a dual-band radar suite consisting of X-band and S-band active phased array sensors and other related mission equipment.

The FY2005 DOD budget request included $80.7 million in Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, Navy, for the Cobra Judy program. This level of funding sustained the important developmental effort associated with the Cobra Judy program to field a replacement platform in 2012, but did not fully restore funding to complete the development effort. On 11 May 2004 the Senate Armed Services Committee expressed concern that complementary developmental activities in the Navy, the Missile Defense Agency, and the Intelligence Community were not being fully coordinated to ensure the development of a comprehensive measurement and signatures intelligence (MASINT) system that supports the intelligence needs of national decision makers; the missile warning requirements of ballistic missile defense systems; and, the operational needs of the Navy. Each of these organizations was developing capabilities for core requirements that also can provide support and reinforcing capabilities for the other. The committee urged the Secretary of Defense to review the radar developmental activities associated with the Cobra Judy, the Navy's DD(X) program, and ballistic missile defense to ensure the integration of complementary capabilities, the development of integrated operational procedures, and the elimination of unnecessary redundancy. The committee recommended an increase of $13.0 million in PE 35149N, to restore the funding necessary to complete developmental activities associated with the Cobra Judy replacement program.

The Cobra Judy Replacement (CJR) preliminary design review (PDR) took place 9-11 February 2005 at the Sudbury, MA, facilities of prime contractor Raytheon. At that time it was planned that the PDR was to be followed by another major review, the critical design review, in January 2006, with the Navy planning to start fielding the CJR in 2011.

In October 2005 the Senate Committee on Armed Services, to which was referred the bill (S. 1803) to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2006 for intelligence and intelligence-related activities, recommended a new provision (section 437) that would express the sense of the Senate that it strongly supported development and integration of this sophisticated solid-state phased array radar technology and ship as a prudent investment in intelligence collection that monitors foreign threats and supports the acquisition of our ballistic missile defensive systems. The committee further urged the continued funding in the future-years defense program of the COBRA JUDY Replacement Program by the Secretary and the Director of National Intelligence in order to support national defense requirements.

Raytheon Company, with principal teammate Northrop Grumman Electronics, successfully completed a Cobra Judy Replacement (CJR) Mission Equipment (ME) Program hardware Critical Design Review (CDR) March 29, 2006. The intensive CDR event took place during five days, concluding with the S-Band radar design presentation to the U.S. Navy March 7-8, with a closeout review March 29. Successful completion of the CJR ME Program CDR demonstrated to the Navy that the X-Band and S-Band radar hardware designs are complete and ready for construction. The successful CDR set the stage for the next major program milestone: the post-CDR in-process review in the spring of 2006.

In March 2006 Northrop Grumman Corporation had designed, developed and successfully tested a new S-band active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar technology intended to provide the US Navy with a smaller, lighter and more capable alternative to current S-band, ship-based radars. The test, held at Northrop Grumman's outdoor integration test facility in Baltimore, utilized a sub-array of the S-band antenna being developed by the company in support of the Navy's Cobra Judy Replacement (CJR) program. CJR is an integrated, surveillance and ballistic missile data collection radar system designed to support U.S. treaty monitoring activities.

The test demonstrated the full power operation of the antenna, including the full pulse width and duty cycle required for the CJR mission. The demonstration also proved the enhanced capabilities of Northrop Grumman's S-band high power transmit/receive modules. The prototype antenna building block was built using standard processes and equipment that will be used during the full-scale production of the antenna. Northrop Grumman is currently building a pilot production unit to provide additional risk reduction as the program transitions into the material procurement and build phase of the CJR contract.

By June 20, 2006 Raytheon Company had successfully completed the final critical design review (CDR) in a series of reviews required to transition the Cobra Judy Replacement Mission Equipment (ME) Program from the design to the build and integration phase. The intensive three-day review, which included final design presentations, demonstrated to the U.S. Navy that the radar and related mission equipment were ready for construction.

The U.S. Navy procured one CJR for the U.S. Air Force using only Research, Development, Test and Evaluation funding. CJR will be turned over to the U.S. Air Force at Initial Operational Capability for all operations and maintenance support. Program activities focused on installation and final integration of the X and S-band radars onto the ship at Kiewit Offshore Services (KOS) following completion of radar production and initial Integration and Test (I&T) at Raytheon and Northrop Grumman (NG). Raytheon and its subcontractors completed I&T of the X-band radar and X/S ancillary equipment at KOS. The S-band radar arrived at KOS on February 19, 2011. The United States Naval Ship (USNS) Howard O. Lorenzen (Missile Range Instrumentation Ship (T-AGM) 25) completed at-sea Builder’s Trials (BT) in March 2011. The ship departed VT Halter Marine (VTHM) and arrived at KOS in the third quarter of Fiscal Year 2011 (3QFY11).


A 2002 MIT reported investigated the feasibility of converting an existing ship to a Mobile Test Range Asset in order to field a platform carrying the Cobra Judy II (CJ2) system on a much newer ship. Based on a review of available hull forms and prior research, the Henry J. Kaiser class oiler (T-AO 187) was found to be the most suitable conversion candidate. There were some issues of concern. The ship is much larger than required; after conversion, there will be a large amount of excess weight (in the form of ballast) and space.

The Navy issued pre-solicitation notice N00024-05-R-2200 on 23 August 2004 for RFP N00024-04-NR-91311. The T-AGM(R) will be U.S. flagged new construction ship classed in accordance with American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) standards, certified by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and designed / built in conformance with Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) requirements and other commercial and regulatory body rules and regulations as applicable. The ship shall receive a Panama Canal/Universal Measurement System (PC/UMS) Net Tonnage Certificate. Helicopter Facilities shall be provided in accordance with NAVAIR Air Capable Ship Aviation Facilities Bulletin No. 1J for Level III (Day Only), Class 5 (Hover Operations in excess of 15 ft.), MH-60S operations. The maximum length overall shall not exceed 712 feet, the maximum beam shall not exceed 106 feet, the maximum navigation draft shall not exceed 27 feet and the air draft shall not exceed 136 ft. The T-AGM(R) shall be capable of using all current T-AGM 23 USNS OBSERVATION ISLAND facilities and ports. The T-AGM(R) shall be capable of performing mission operations in wave heights of 8-13 feet and surviving in wave heights of 25-46 feet. A Military Sealift Command (MSC) Civilian Mariner (CIVMAR) crew or an MSC contracted civilian crew will operate the ship. The ship will be designed for a full complement of 88 persons berthed in 62 single staterooms and 13 double staterooms.

Dedicated interior mission space with a combined usable deck area of no less then 1,254 square meters is required. Mission system power requirements are estimated at 8MW at a five (5) knot loitering speed. The T-AGM(R) is required to support two deck mounted mission radar arrays and a topside antenna area is required to accommodate approximately 38 communication antennas. A horizontal separation of 30 meters and a vertical separation of 11 meters is required for the deck mounted mission radars. The distance from the bridge wings to the closest mission radar shall be no less then 30 meters. The estimated weight of the upper mission radar array is 298 long tons and that of the lower mission radar array is 270 long tons.

The projected service life of the T-AGM(R) will be 30 years. The ship is required to be fully supportable within the current commercial and DoD supply chains. The ship will have the capability to conduct independent and unreplenished operations for up to 70 days with an operational range of at least 12,000 nautical miles at a sustained speed of 20 knots at 80% of the Maximum Continuous Rating (MCR).

The Navy plans to conduct the T-AGM(R) procurement in two phases. Phase I will contract for a concept/preliminary design with the award of only two firm fixed price contracts. Phase II was for detail design and construction of the ship. Award for Phase II will only be made to the Contractors who received a Phase I award. The planned date for release of the RFP was 1st Quarter, FY05 with planned date of award during the 3rd Quarter FY05. The RFP included a Performance Specification with radar and mission equipment Interface Control Documentation (ICD). The ICD would be updated during Phase I to reflect the mission system design development of the radar integrator. The deliverables submitted under Phase I will be evaluated along with each contractor¿s price proposal to determine the awardee for Phase II. On 29 November 2005 Bender Shipbuilding & Repair Co., Inc. was awarded contract N00024-06-C-2213, Marinette Marine Corporation was awarded contract N00024-06-C-2214, and Halter Marine was awarded contract N00024-06-C-2215.

USNS Observation Island is 564 feet long with a displacement of 17,015 long tons. Bender builds all types of vessels, crabbers, offshore supply vessels, push boats, shrimp boats, factory trawlers, riverboats, passenger vessels, tuna seiners, tug boats, for a total of more than 800 Bender-built ships operating worldwide. Bender's VS-483 is a 272-foot long 14.5 Knot Platform Supply Vessel, and the Kodiak Enterprise, a 12 knot 275' Factory Trawler, was delivered October 1989 by Bender. The 240' USCGC MACKINAW (WLBB-30) icebreaker was launched April 2, 2005 by Marinette Marine. The Coast Guard had awarded Marinette Marine Corperation with a contract to construct a new multi-purpose icebreaking vessel on Oct 15 2001. Halter Marine has the capability to build medium size ships up to 50,000 DWT. It is the largest supplier of Army watercraft and provider of the Army's Logistic Support Vessel. Halter Marine offshore service vessels range in size from 205-foot platform supply vessels to the recently delivered 279-foot Construction Anchor/Handling Tug (CAHT) vessel.

Phase II will be awarded to the responsible offeror whose proposal represents best value to the Government, price and other factors considered. The planned date for award of Phase II is 3rd Quarter FY 2006. Ship delivery is planned for FY 2010 The NAICS Code for the T-AGM(R) procurement will be 336611 (Ship Building and Repair).

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