Opponents claim victory as the Missile Defense Agency pulls the plug on a controversial radar project

Opponents were worried the project would harm cultural and environmental sites. Lockheed Martin already had a contract to build the facility, but the latest Defense budget request includes no funding to continue.
Updated: Feb. 12, 2020 at 11:30 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Pentagon is nixing its plan for a billion-dollar missile defense radar in Hawaii.

The announcement comes after critics vowed to block the project.

Opponents were worried the project would harm cultural and environmental sites.

The military had been studying three locations on Oahu's North Shore and one in West Kauai.

However, radar opponents threatened to block construction vehicles like they did with the Kahuku wind turbines, the Sherwood’s park project and the Thirty Meter Telescope.

Critics of the high powered ballistic missile radar are claiming victory.

“We are rising. Our voices are getting louder. Our people are getting smarter. We’re not dumb anymore. We know what’s going on," said Kauai resident Puanani Rogers.

The Missile Defense Agency did not explain why it’s pulling the project except that there were “issues related to siting.”

Lockheed Martin already had a $600 million contract to design and build the facility but the latest defense budget request includes no funding to continue.

The military says Hawaii will still be covered by the SBX radar at Pearl Harbor and officials will explore other options for future advancements to protect against missiles from North Korea.

The governor and Hawaii Congress members declined to comment Wednesday night but they previously supported the project and the military spending it would bring to the state.

However, opponents say no amount of money is worth the pain it would have caused them.

“Us kanaka, we feel with our hearts more than our brains. It’s all heart felt feelings for these places. That’s why we say it’s sacred because it’s coming from our hearts and it’s coming from our naau,” Rogers said. “And we love our aina, we aloha our aina.”

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