Kodiak could see a new set of high-tech missile tests before the end of the year.
On January 13th, the Missile Defense Agency released a proposed Environmental Impact Study stating there are no negative impacts from launching missile defense test flights from the Pacific Spaceport Complex on Kodiak island.
If the EIS is approved, equipment and operations for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) as well as the Patriot missile defense systems will be moved to the island, according toMDA spokesman Chris Johnson.
“Kodiak provides a good opportunity for us in that it’s got a tremendous amount of range space over the north Pacific Ocean, and there’s already several services built there,” Johnson said.
Many of the THAAD assets are currently in Hawaii and Wake Island.
Johnson says the system is largely self-contained, and won’t require much new construction or any year-round personnel.
MDA is proposing two test launches a year over the next decade, exercises in which the THAAD system tracks a practice missile using a radar system before launching an interceptor.
The idea is to destroy an intercontinental ballistic missile before it detonates on a target.
If given approval, the MDA could begin conducting launches this summer.
Alaska residents have until February 13 to submit comments to the proposed environmental assessment.