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Perimeter Acquisition Radar Attack Characterization System

A full view of the Perimeter Acquisition Radar building located at Cavalier Air Force Station in North Dakota. The building houses the Perimeter Acquisition Radar Attack Characterization System, a key piece of the national military command system.

A full view of the Perimeter Acquisition Radar building located at Cavalier Air Force Station in North Dakota. The building houses the Perimeter Acquisition Radar Attack Characterization System, a key piece of the national military command system. (Courtesy photo)

PERIMETER ACQUISITION RADAR ATTACK CHARACTERIZATION SYSTEM

Mission 


The Perimeter Acquisition Radar Attack Characterization System (PARCS) is a single-faced, multi-function, UHF-Band, phased-array radar located at Cavalier Air Force Station, N.D. 

The primary mission of PARCS is to keep watch for sea-launched and intercontinental ballistic missiles launched toward North America, and to collect Launch and Predicted Impact (L&PI) data, generally defined as missile warning (MW) data. The secondary mission of PARCS is to provide data concerning space launches and orbiting objects as a collateral sensor for the Space Surveillance Network (SSN). 

Features 

Cavalier AFS is 15 miles south of the Canadian and U.S. border. PARCS is responsible for monitoring and tracking more than half of all earth-orbiting objects.

Background

This system was originally built by the U.S. Army as part of the Safeguard missile defense system defending U.S. missile fields in North Dakota. However the Safeguard system was decommissioned shortly after it was activated in 1976. The radar was then transferred to the U.S. Air Force to support the Missile Warning and Space Surveillance missions.  

PARCS is able to detect and track both intercontinental and sea-launched missile threats, and pass information to North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) and regional combatant commanders. As part of the missile warning mission PARCS provides attack characterization data to the Integrated Tactical Warning and Attack Assessment (ITW/AA) system. PARCS supports Space Domain Awareness by sending satellite track data to the Combined Space Operations Center (CSpOC) for processing.  

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 July 2019)