Welcome to the website for the Sea-Based X-Band Radar Environmental Assessment

This website has been established to provide you with a source for information about the preparation of the EA.


The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) needs to perform maintenance work on the SBX Radar Vessel. The vessel’s thrusters, which help move it through the water, require periodic maintenance to retain American Bureau of Shipping/U.S. Coast Guard certification, which is required for the vessel to operate. Thruster maintenance is needed to maintain a full suite of radars for anti-ballistic missile testing and defense.

MDA also needs to perform additional maintenance and repair on the vessel. Work includes repainting needed areas, inspecting and repairing other vessel components, and upgrading some internal systems. MDA will not operate the X-Band Radar while in port.

The required maintenance will be performed at the deepwater shipyard facility at Vigor Shipyards (Formerly Todd Pacific Shipyards), in Seattle, Washington. In the event that Vigor Shipyards is not available to perform required maintenance activities, a contingency location would be selected. The potential environmental effects of the maintenance and repair activities at two contingency locations are analyzed in the Sea-Based X-Band Radar Environmental Assessment.

The required maintenance can be accomplished only at a deepwater port. The two contingency locations on the West Coast that could meet the specific deep-water maintenance requirements are:

  • Naval Air Station North Island – San Diego, California
  • Naval Station Everett – Everett, Washington

Maintenance and repair work may begin in the spring of 2011, and will take approximately three months to complete.

Comments and Responses

The Draft Environmental Assessment (EA):

The Draft EA was available for public review on this project website from February 14, 2011 through March 16, 2011. Comments received during the 30-day review period and the responses to these comments are listed in Appendix J of the Final EA. Click here to view Appendix J.

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) does not require Federal agencies to establish a website. This website has been developed to provide the public with information about the project. The NEPA Process page provides information on how to comment by mail or e-mail.