Washington | China, Russia pose challenge to US space capabilities: Pentagon

Washington | China, Russia pose challenge to US space capabilities: Pentagon

"Challenges to Security in Space" explains why space is a "contested" domain and why other countries might attempt to disrupt USA satellites, for instance.

Russian Federation and China introduced a proposal to ban the placement of weapons to the United Nations Conference on Disarmament over a decade ago in 2008. Space's role in commercial and civilian applications is growing, and it is absolutely vital to employing the US military, DIA officials noted.

"We are aware that the US Defence Intelligence Agency has made reckless comments about China's space development". "Both China and Russian Federation reorganized their militaries in 2015, emphasizing the importance of space operations", the official said.

It adds that China 'possibly already has a limited capability to employ laser systems against satellite sensors'.

The strategy, by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said both Russian Federation and China are pursuing "a full range of anti-satellite weapons, which could degrade US intelligence gathering abilities".

China's Foreign Ministry, however, said the US allegations were "groundless".

"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.

"Recently the US has defined outer space as a battlefield and announced the establishment of an outer space force", spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a briefing in Beijing. She said such developments were "more likely to turn into reality the risks of weaponizing outer space and making it a battlefield".

In September 2018, after Trump's announcement of the Space Force, Moscow warned Washington against deploying weapons in space and urged the worldwide community to adopt an agreement preventing such deployments.

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One threat is a result of the successes in space.

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

The warning, in a new report Monday from the Defense Intelligence Agency, builds on a series of warnings issued by the defense and intelligence communities over the past several years.

About 1,800 of the 21,000 large objects in space - those measuring at least four inches - with rest as debris, including parts of spacecraft, according to the report.

China, for instance, is attempting to become a "space power" that's focused on exploration and defense, according to the DIA. "The United States harnesses the benefits of space for communications, financial transactions, public safety, weather, agriculture, navigation and more".

The report said both countries were developing jamming and cyberspace capabilities, directed energy weapons, orbital capabilities, and ground-based anti-satellite missiles that could achieve a range of reversible to permanent effects.

"Space is fundamental to US prosperity", the Pentagon official said.

DIA officials spoke to reporters at the Pentagon this morning about the threats facing American dominance in space.

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