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February 11, 2019, 11:02 PM GMT
By Courtney Kube
WASHINGTON – A new report from the US secret service warns that both China and Russia are investing in weapons that can attack US satellites and assets in space and that both countries are now preparing for the use of space as a battlefield.
Last month, the Defense Intelligence Agency released a report on China's military capabilities, and warned that the Asian country was making progress in the counterspace technology that could threaten US satellites responsible for communication, exploration, GPS and early warnings. for rocket launches.
But a new DIA report, "Challenges for Space Safety", warns that both China and Russia are making progress in space technology and that both are likely to go into space early in a major military conflict to to paralyze opponents.
A Delta 4 Heavy-rocket with an American spy satellite rises from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on January 19, 2019. Matt Hartman / AP file
"Space is now a war zone, such as the land, the sea and the sky," said an American official. "We can not see space as a refuge from an attack."
The US military has become increasingly dependent on space assets in recent years. It has communication satellites providing internet and mobile services, reconnaissance satellites that enable signal intelligence and provide information on hostile force positions, as well as space-based sensors that warn the United States of missile launches and GPS position, navigation and timing satellites. most Americans.
"The use of space has greatly expanded the US military capability to project power globally," said a US Defense Information Officer, adding that this could be done with fewer deployed troops and thus less risk for US service personnel. A well-known example is the use of drones, which depend on satellite signals to communicate.
Although China has demonstrated an anti-satellite rocket and possibly perfected a laser that could perfect American assets in space, Russia is still working on perfecting those technologies and, according to the report, which focuses on targeted energy weapons, mostly lasers or powered microwaves, which can disable or even destroy assets in space.
This mobile, ground-based weapon system "capable of destroying space targets," warns the report, "is likely to be operational in the coming years."
US Defense and Intelligence officials say that neither China nor Russia has surpassed the US in space capabilities, but that they are investing heavily to steer the US Army and that they are now integrating weapons that could attack space in their conventional units.
Launch of the Delta IV rocket launches of the United Launch Alliance from Space Launch Complex 6 with an American spy satellite from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on January 19, 2019.Mat Udkow / Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP file
"What worries me most is that they have a holistic power," said the intelligence intelligence officer. "We need to be positioned to address these challenges or we risk losing our advantages in space." We run the risk unless we position ourselves properly. "
When asked whether the US is now in a space race with Russia and China, the defender said: "We certainly recognize this as a competition."