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Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) (U)

Overview (U):

(U) The Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) detects, tracks, and provides tactical warning/attack assessment (TW/AA) of ballistic missiles launched against the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom. The BMEWS system consists of radars at RAF Fylingdales, UK; Clear, Alaska; and Thule AFB, Greenland.

Description (U):

(U) The three BMEWS radars are located at Thule Air Force Base (AFB), Greenland; Clear Air Station, Alaska; and Royal Air Force (RAF) Air Base, Fylingdales, UK. The Thule BMEWS uses a two-faced phased array radar and the Fylingdales BMEWS uses a three-faced phased array radar. The Clear BMEWS site employs three detection and one tracking mechanical radars. The Clear radars will be replaced by two salvaged phased array radars and one phased array from each of the PAVE PAWS sites that have been placed into warm storage (Eldorado and Robbins). This upgrade will provide the Clear site with radar capabilities similar to the PAVE PAWS radars at Beale and Cape Cod.

(U) BMEWS radars operate in the UHF (420-450 MHz) frequency range. The radar missions are performed automatically under control of the mission software, which directs radar operation to detect, acquire and track missile and satellite objects of interest. The systems also processes the tracked data to classify unknown objects.

(U) The BMEWS radar network became operational in the early 1960s and has been significantly upgraded since. Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for the modernized Thule two-faced BMEWS phased array radar was in 2QFY87. IOC for the Fylingdales three-faced BMEWS phased array radar modernization was in 1QFY92. The Clear Radar Upgrade (CRU) will be conducted from FY98 through FY03.

User Impact (U):

(U) The BMEWS system detects, tracks, and provides TW/AA of ballistic missiles launched against the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Programmatics (U):

(U) Operational.

(U) Organizations and Funding:
  • (U) USSPACECOM: Funding Source.

Images (U):

Added Value to the WarfighterAFSPC Vision
Thule BMEWSThule Ballistic Missile Early Warning Radar System (BMEWS)
This Table Is Unclassified.

Related Initiatives (U):
ClearBallistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) at Clear
FylingdalesBallistic Missile Early Warning Radar System (BMEWS) at Fylingdales
NCMC-TW/AANORAD Cheyenne Mountain Complex (NCMC) Threat Warning/Attack Assessment
ThuleBallistic Missile Early Warning Radar System (BMEWS) at Thule
This Table Is Unclassified.

Related Requirements (U):None.

Related Categories (U):
Collateral SensorsCollateral Sensors
This Table Is Unclassified.

Road Map Placements (U):

National Security Space Road MapIntegrated System Road Map
This Table Is Unclassified.

Requirements, Funding and Additional Hotlinks (U):

1997 Space Surveillance Dev Plan
1997 Force Enhancement STW
This Table Is Unclassified.

Lead Office (U):

(U) Air Force.

(U) DoD: OASD(C3I), Pentagon, Washington, DC
(U) Service Staff: HQ AF/XORB, Pentagon, Washington, DC
(U) Major Command: HQ AFSPC/DO, Peterson AFB, CO
(U) Program Management: AFMC/SSSG/ND (SNDC2 SPO)

Point of Contact (U):

(U) Ben Howell, Open Phone: None..

Date Of Information (U):

(U) 13 November 1997

(U) Road Map Production Date: 12 July 1999

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