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Russia And China On The Verge Of Setting Up An Operational Anti-satellite Weapon. 

Meanwhile, the two great powers are working on the development of energy weapons directed against American satellites. “Ten years after China intercepted one of its own low-orbiting satellites, its ASAT missiles launched on the ground could be close to operational service within the PLA’s People’s Liberation Army,” said Mr. Coats . “Both countries are advancing directed energy weapon technologies with the goal of implementing ASAT systems that could isolate or damage sensitive space optical sensors. Russia is developing an aerial laser weapon to be used against American satellites. 

Russia and China are actively pursuing new weapons and capabilities to counter America’s domination of space according to an assessment by the American intelligence community.Indeed, both countries are considering the development of weapons that could attack US satellites and other space assets in orbit.

“We estimate that Russia and China perceive a need to offset any US military advantage derived from military, civilian or commercial space systems and increasingly consider attacks on satellite systems as part of their future doctrine of War, “said the testimony of the Congress of Daniel Coats, Director of the National Intelligence Service on May 11.“Both will continue to pursue a full range of anti-satellite weapons (ASAT) as a means to reduce US military effectiveness.”

The two great powers – seeking to compensate America’s advantages in this field – continue to develop such capabilities despite public statements that would prevent an arms race in outer space. “Russia and China remain committed to developing capabilities to challenge perceived opponents in space, especially the United States, while publicly and diplomatically promoting the non-seizure of space and the” first place “of Weapons in space, “said Coats. “Such a commitment continues despite ongoing US and allied diplomatic efforts to discourage the expansion of threats to the peaceful use of outer space, including international commitments through the UN”

Most attacks on US space assets are likely to be non-kinetic, with an emphasis on electronic attacks and cyber-war. “Development will most likely focus on interference capabilities against specialized satellite imagery satellites (SATCOMs), synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging satellites, and improved capabilities against satellite navigation systems ( GNSS), such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) of the United States, The testimony of “Coats” reads. “The mixing of EW capabilities and cyber attacks will likely extend to the search for sophisticated ways to deny and degrade information networks.Chinese researchers discussed methods to improve robust interference capabilities with new systems to block commonly used frequencies. Russia intends to modernize its EW forces and lead a new generation of EW weapons by 2020. “

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However, when electronic warfare and cyber-arms fail to achieve their desired goals, the Russian and Chinese are willing to use kinetic force to physically destroy US space assets.“Some new Russian and Chinese ASAT weapons, including destructive systems, are likely to complement development over the next few years,” said Coats. “Russian military strategists are likely to consider counter-space weapons as an integral part of the wider aerospace defense rearmament and are highly likely to pursue a diverse range of capabilities to affect satellites in all orbital regimes.”

But it is not only the Russian army; Political decision-makers in Moscow are also promoting anti-satellite weapons from the perspective of the American intelligence community.“Russian lawmakers have promoted the military pursuit of ASAT missiles to strike satellites in low orbit, and Russia is testing such a weapon for a possible deployment,” Coats said. “A Russian official also recognized the development of a missile launched by an aircraft capable of destroying satellites in low Earth orbit.”

On the other side of the world, China is on the verge of setting up an operational anti-satellite weapon. Meanwhile, the two great powers are working on the development of energy weapons directed against American satellites. “Ten years after China intercepted one of its own low-orbiting satellites, its ASAT missiles launched on the ground could be close to operational service within the PLA’s People’s Liberation Army,” said Mr. Coats .“Both countries are advancing directed energy weapon technologies with the goal of implementing ASAT systems that could isolate or damage sensitive space optical sensors.Russia is developing an aerial laser weapon to be used against American satellites. 

In addition, both countries are developing satellites that can either manipulate other space assets or, if necessary, collide with an enemy orbital vehicle and destroy another. “Russia and China continue to conduct sophisticated satellite activities in orbit such as rendezvous and proximity operations, some of which are likely to test dual-use technologies with inherent counter-space functionality,” Stated Mr. Coats. “For example, the search for space robotic technology for satellite maintenance and debris elimination could be used to damage satellites. Such missions will pose a particular challenge in the future, which will complicate the United States’ ability to characterize the space environment, decipher the intent of space activity and provide pre-threat warning. “

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Written by MT

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