Russian, Chinese lasers threaten US satellites: Pentagon | #100630

Defense Intelligence Agency headquarters at Joint Base Anacostia Bolling in Washington D.C. Credit DIA

Space enables the modern world, and the United States needs to maintain its progress in this critical domain if it hopes to lead in the future.

The Chinese and Russian developed military doctrines based on the idea that space is essential to modern warfare and counterspace capabilities are key to countering USA and allied military advantages, the report says.

Space is the common property of all mankind, not the private property of the Americans, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a briefing.

Beijing has hit back at U.S. 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.

But that's not stopping Russian Federation and China from military space technology developments.

Space-based capabilities are key to all aspects of life in the United States.

"The use of space has greatly expanded USA military ability to project power globally", a US defense intelligence official said, adding they can do so with fewer troops deployed and therefore less risk to American service members.

Space-based capabilities are becoming more affordable and are technologically easier to build and deploy, and China and Russian Federation are taking full advantage of this to eat into US space dominance, officials said.

A new Pentagon report indicates China and Russian Federation are making great strides in various space capabilities, including the tech to attack US satellites.

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

"The PLA owns and operates about half of these ISR systems, most of which could support monitoring, tracking and targeting of United States and allied forces worldwide, especially throughout the Indo-Pacific region", it said.

The U.S. military has grown increasingly reliant on space assets in recent years.

"Both states are developing jamming and cyberspace capabilities, directed energy weapons, on-orbit capabilities and ground-based antisatellite missiles that can achieve a range of reversible to non-reversible effects", said the report.

The new report follows one the agency released last month on China's military power, including its anti-satellite weapons and other counterspace capabilities.

North Korea is also named as one of the forces challenging America's space activities.

"As the number of satellites grows, so does the threats posed by space debris", the official said.

They have also developed the command and control systems needed to deploy these capabilities as weapons.

Both have developed space-based intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, according to the report from the agency, which sits in the Department of Defense.

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. "The United States harnesses the benefits of space for communications, financial transactions, public safety, weather, agriculture, navigation and more".



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