The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has identified Kauai military site as a possible location for its proposed $1.9bn Homeland Defense Radar-Hawaii.
The flat facing radar will be sited at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) at Barking Sands on Kauai’s west coast. It is expected to be 80ft-90ft tall and about 50ft wide.
Previously, three sites were being studied for the radar, as mandated by the Congress.
Two sites that were studied are located at the US Army’s Kahuku Training Area and on Kuaokala Ridge at Kaena point.
Missile Defense Agency team lead public affairs officer Heather Reed Cavaliere said in an email to Hawaii News Now: “In coordination with INDOPACOM, MDA is currently revisiting the viability of fielding the Homeland Defense Radar-Hawaii on Department of Defense property at PMRF.
“In October 2019, MDA began conducting analyses and studies at PMRF locations not previously explored in the siting analysis. This effort is ongoing and MDA expects to make a site suitability determination in March-April 2020.”
Cavaliere further added that a suitable site will be identified at the facility and incorporated into an environmental impact statement to carry out complete analysis along with the other sites on Oahu.
According to the Department of Defense, a radar needs to be built in the Pacific to enhance missile tracking.
Construction of the radar is anticipated to take three to five years. Once completed, it is expected to add around 130 military, contractor and other related jobs.
The Homeland Defense Radar-Hawaii is intended to reach farther out so as to identify warheads from rocket parts.