China, Russia seek weapons to hit US satellites, Pentagon says

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) – China and Russia proceed to develop and deploy weapons that may assault US satellites at the same time as they improve their very own fleets of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance area automobiles, in accordance to the Pentagon’s intelligence company.

Although the up to date report issued on Tuesday (April 12) by the Defence Intelligence Agency is primarily based on information accounts and declarations from Chinese and Russian officers, it’s a helpful abstract of the threats that the US says are driving main investments within the Pentagon’s proposed fiscal 2023 defence funds, particularly for the US Space Force and Space Command.

“China has multiple ground-based laser weapons of varying power levels to disrupt, degrade, or damage satellites that include a current limited capability to employ laser systems against satellite sensors,” the intelligence company mentioned.

“By the mid- to late-2020s, China may field higher power systems that extend the threat to the structures of non-optical satellites” as effectively.

China’s personal fleet of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance satellites retains increasing.

As of January, it included greater than 250 techniques – “a quantity second only to the United States, and nearly doubling China’s in-orbit systems since 2018,” in accordance to the report.

It mentioned the People’s Liberation Army of China “owns and operates about half of the world’s ISR systems, most of which could support monitoring, tracking and targeting of US and allied forces worldwide, especially throughout the Indo-Pacific region. These satellites also allow the PLA to monitor potential regional flashpoints, including the Korean Peninsula, Taiwan, Indian Ocean and South China Sea.”

At the identical time, Russia perceives the US dependence on area as America’s “Achilles’ heel” so it’s “pursuing counterspace systems to neutralise or deny US space-based services” and “probably will field lasers that are more capable of damaging satellites in the mid-to-late 2020s,” the Defence Department company mentioned.

Russia already “has several ground-based lasers, for example, that can blind satellite sensors,” the Defence Intelligence Agency mentioned, together with a system delivered in 2018 to its aerospace forces.

By 2030, Russia can also subject “higher-power systems that extend the threat to the structures of all satellites, not just electro-optical” sensors, DIA mentioned.

In addition to the menace from anti-satellite weapons, “the probability of collisions of massive derelict objects in low Earth orbit is growing and almost certainly will continue through at least 2030,” the Defence Intelligence Agency mentioned.

It cited the rising variety of area launches, particularly these with a number of payloads, and persevering with fragmentation from collisions, battery explosions” and anti-satellite testing.

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