Pentagon Warns That Russia, China Threaten U.S. Space Dominance

Pentagon Warns That Russia, China Threaten U.S. Space Dominance

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

China is second only to the United States in the number of operational satellites, the report added.

"The People's Liberation Army also sees counterspace operations as a means to deter and counter a possible U.S. intervention during a regional military conflict", the report said, adding that destroying satellites would make it hard for the United States to target precision guided weapons.

The report notes that some actors will seek counter space capabilities that target the perceived United States and allied reliance on space, including the ability to use secure satellite communications, precision strike capabilities, and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance or ISR assets. "Both China and Russian Federation reorganized their militaries in 2015, emphasizing the importance of space operations", the official said.

China has demonstrated an anti-satellite missile and is working on a laser that could attack US properties in space.

With China and Russian Federation making advances in space technology, a US intelligence report warns their efforts pose a significant military challenge to the United States and its allies. "These are totally groundless", ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Tuesday.

Additionally, Russia and China now have "enhanced situational awareness, enabling them to monitor, track and target USA and allied forces", the report said. "So this may lead to the reality of the weaponization and endangerment of outer space". On the other hand, the USA has defined space as a combat territory, announced the formation of independent space force, and continuously carried out space combat exercises.

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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. They are developing systems that pose a threat to freedom of action in space.

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.

Of about the 21,000 large space objects that are least 10 centimeters (4 inches) in size, only about 1,800 are active satellites.

In 2003, China became the third country to achieve independent human space flight with the Shenzhou 5 spacecraft, commanded by astronaut Yang Liwei.

Space is integral to America's economic and commercial success.

While China has demonstrated an anti-satellite missile and may have perfected a laser that could attack US assets in space, Russian Federation is still working to flawless those technologies and, according to the report, focusing heavily on directed energy weapons, usually lasers or high-powered microwaves, that can disable or even destroy assets in space.

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

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