U.S. military’s ‘Elephant Cage’ antenna to be razed

Kyodo

The U.S. military said Wednesday it will start dismantling a decrepit antenna array at the Misawa Air base in Aomori Prefecture next year.

Nicknamed the “Elephant Cage” due to its size, the facility contains dozens of 37-meter-high antennas arrayed in a circle 440 meters in diameter capable of picking up radio transmissions from any angle.

It went into service in 1965 to intercept transmissions from the Soviet Union, China and other countries during the Cold War.

While operating it will end early next year, “no firm date has yet been established to begin physical demolition,” the U.S. military said.

The antenna array, officially called an AN/FLR-9, was one of two such facilities set up by the U.S. in Japan. The other one, in Yomitan, Okinawa, was disassembled in 2007.