New Missile-Tracking Ship Starts Sea Trials

The USNS Howard O. Lorenzen (T-AGM 25), the US military’s newest missile range instrumentation ship, arrived at Port Canaveral, Fla., last month to begin at-sea testing as part of its year-long integration and test phase, announced the Navy. Once the ship begins initial operations in September 2013, the sea service will transfer the vessel to the control of the Air Force Technical Applications Center at Patrick AFB, Fla. Military Sealift Command will operate the vessel on behalf of the Air Force. Lorenzen is slated to replace USNS Observation Island (T-AGM 23) in 2014 to continue the mission of monitoring ballistic missile launches worldwide and supporting US missile testing. The new ship, built by VT Halter Marine in Pascagoula, Miss., features the Raytheon-supplied Cobra Judy Replacement system, the first fully integrated, ship-based X-band and S-band phased-array radar system, according to the Navy’s July 26 release.