Pentagon: China, Russia Developing Satellite-Killing Lasers

Lamar Ellis
February 14, 2019

Iran and North Korea have also demonstrated jamming capabilities in space, the agency said. "Additionally, there is a wave of exciting commercial technologies and investments in space that are expanding the potential opportunities, the benefits we can all enjoy".

Beijing has hit back at USA claims that China's space programme is a threat, dismissing the assertion as groundless and accusing America of allowing its fears to be used as an excuse for an arms race.

The report also warned that orbital debris remains a concern.

Any adversary would do well to cripple America's capabilities in space.

US defense and intelligence officials say neither China nor Russian Federation has surpassed the space capabilities, but that they are investing broadly to try to best the American military, and that they are now integrating weapons that could attack in space into their conventional units.

In a report published Monday, the Defense Intelligence Agency found that "China and Russian Federation, in particular, have taken steps to challenge the United States" in space, including through the development of weaponized satellites, energy weapons and surveillance networks.

Both countries have established their own global positioning system satellite networks.

Additionally, Russia and China now have "enhanced situational awareness, enabling them to monitor, track and target US and allied forces", the report said.

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The U.S. military has grown increasingly reliant on space assets in recent years. But not to the Pentagon; the agency's report lays out all the different ways Beijing and Moscow could attack USA satellites in order to win future wars.

China and Russian Federation are working on ground-based systems, electromagnetic jamming, lasers and other anti-satellite capabilities to counter America's advantage in space. But Rep. Mike Rogers, then-chairman of the US House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee, told CNN in 2018 'the future of war will be fought in space.' 'Russia and China are surpassing us in space capabilities, and we need to dedicate a separate force exclusively with a space mission, ' he said. China established a strategic support force to integrate its space, cyberspace and electronic capabilities. The treaty has been ratified by more than 100 countries including the United States, Russia, China, and North Korea.

"The number of satellites and debris on orbit will grow concurrently, making tracking satellites, discriminating threats from non-threats, and predicting and preventing collisions a greater challenge", it said.

'We are aware that the US Defence Intelligence Agency has made reckless comments about China's space development.

When Americans think of space, they think of NASA and space exploration, but they do not necessarily think of all that space brings to their daily lives, the DOD official said.

Space is the enabling domain for many capabilities, from hand-held devices to precision navigation.

Space has had a profound impact on the military, the official added, allowing American service members to anticipate threats, respond to crises and to project power globally with fewer troops deployed and less collateral damage.

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