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The COBRA DANE radar is a single faced ground-based, L-band (1175-1375 MHz) phased-array radar located at Eareckson Air Station, Shemya, AK, near the western end of the Aleutian chain and operated by the United States Air Force.

The primary mission of COBRA DANE is to collect radar metric and signature data on foreign ballistic missile events during exo¬≠atmospheric and early endo-atmospheric portions of flight and on selected space launches in early orbit in support of treaty monitoring, force modernization, and missile defense. Additional missions include collecting space surveillance data on new foreign launches and both known (cataloged) and unknown (uncatalogued) satellites in low-earth orbit for the Space Situational Awareness (SSA) Operations Cell.  


COBRA DANE has a 95-foot diameter phased array it has the capability to track and record data on as many as 120 objects simultaneously. COBRA DANE will transition into Missile Defense mode automatically upon detection of a threatening missile or transition upon receipt of an alert message from the GFC. At all other times, COBRA DANE primarily supports the Space Surveillance Mission.

This radar system was built for the primary mission of intelligence gathering in support of verification of the SALT II arms limitation treaty. Its single face radar faces the Kamchatka Peninsula and Kura Test Range. Data from the radar is sent to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) at Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center. It is also listed as a partner of the NASA Orbital Debris Program Office and works with the Missile Defense Agency. The sensor’s secondary mission is Space Surveillance as a contributing sensor.

Point of Contact: Air Force Space Command, Public Affairs Office; 150 Vandenberg St., Suite 1105; Peterson AFB, Colo., 80914-4500; DSN 692-3731, or (719) 554-3731; Fax (719) 554-6013.

(Current as of January 2017)