DIA: China to Deploy ASAT Laser by 2020

China's President Xi Jinping

China’s President Xi Jinping / Getty Images

 

China, Russia also set to use anti-satellite missiles

China’s military is expected to deploy a laser weapon capable of destroying or damaging U.S. military satellites in low earth orbit in the next year, the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency disclosed in a report on space threats.

The Chinese directed energy weapon is among an array of space warfare tools that include ground-based anti-satellite (ASAT) missiles, electronic jammers, cyber attacks, and small satellites Beijing plans to use in attacks on U.S. satellites in a future conflict. Continue reading

China’s Great Leap in space warfare creates huge new threat

People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force fighter pilots pose at the Jiuquan space base, in Gansu province. Photo: China Out / AFP

 

China is building an array of high-technology space arms – anti-satellite missiles, lasers, GPS jammers and killer satellites – that Beijing says will give its military strategic advantage in a future conflict with the United States.

The People’s Liberation Army now has the capability of attacking, destroying or disrupting the 500 US satellites circling the earth at heights of between 1,200 miles and 22,000 miles, according to a new study by a US think tank, the National Institute for Public Policy.

The report, on “Foreign Space Capabilities,” also reveals that China’s military has discussed plans for using space detonations of nuclear weapons to create electronics-killing Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) attacks against orbiting satellites used by militaries for precision weapons targeting, navigation and communications. Continue reading

Meet the PLA’s Deadly New ‘Carrier Killer’ Drone

Beijing is heavily investing into the development of longer-range UAVs.

Last week, new pictures emerged on Chinese websites of the Project 973 or Shen Diao (“Divine Eagle”) prototype, perhaps the world’s largest twin fuselage drone – and a new formidable long-range strike weapon in the arsenal of the People’s Liberation Army.

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Judging from the images, the Divine Eagle prototype appears to be larger than the U.S Air Force’s Global Hawk long-range surveillance drone and consequently could be equipped to “carry large missiles for satellite launching, anti-satellite and anti-ship missions,” elaborates the Washington Free Beacon.

The article also quotes, Rick Fisher, an expert on Chinese military capabilities, who states that “China’s construction of large long-range Global Hawk-sized unmanned aircraft will greatly assist its goal of consolidating control over the western Pacific (…)These large UAVs will act as persistent satellites able to target missiles and other tactical platforms well beyond the first island chain.”

Continue reading

Pentagon Says 2013 Chinese Launch May Have Tested Antisatellite Technology

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Defense Department is suggesting that the May 2013 launch of a Chinese rocket that it branded at the time as suspicious was a test of a technology designed to counter or destroy satellites in geosynchronous orbit.

China characterized the launch as a scientific sounding rocket mission, but the U.S. Air Force said the vehicle’s trajectory was inconsistent with that explanation. In a statement released shortly after the launch, the service said the rocket climbed to a nearly geosynchronous-orbit altitude — 36,000 kilometers high — but that all objects associated with the launch subsequently re-entered the atmosphere. Continue reading

Mysterious Actions of Chinese Satellites Have Experts Guessing

A set of three mysterious satellites has experts guessing about the Chinese space program’s intentions. No one really knows what the Chinese are up to, and everything is speculation.

That appears to be the consensus of space experts tracking a set of Chinese spacecraft. Some have speculated that the Chinese are testing possible anti-satellite technology, while others have described the satellites as prosaic probes meant to sharpen the country’s overall space skills.

Under debate are the orbital antics of several newcomers to space — the Chinese satellites Shiyan-7, Chuangxin-3 and Shijian-15 — which all launched into orbit together on July 20. Experts are also discussing the actions of China’s elder spacecraft Shijian-7, which launched more than eight years ago. Continue reading

China Launches Three ASAT Satellites

China’s military recently launched three small satellites into orbit as part of Beijing’s covert anti-satellite warfare program, according to a U.S. official.

The three satellites, launched July 20 by a Long March-4C launcher, were later detected conducting unusual maneuvers in space indicating the Chinese are preparing to conduct space warfare against satellites, said the official who is familiar with intelligence reports about the satellites.

One of the satellites was equipped with an extension arm capable of attacking orbiting satellites that currently are vulnerable to both kinetic and electronic disruption.

“This is a real concern for U.S. national defense,” the official said. “The three are working in tandem and the one with the arm poses the most concern. This is part of a Chinese ‘Star Wars’ program.Continue reading

U.S. Colleges Infected by Foreign Spies: FBI

“Placing academics at U.S. research institutions under the guise of legitimate research offers access to developing U.S. technologies and cutting-edge research” in such areas as information systems, lasers, aeronautics and underwater robots, the report said.

Enabling China

Over the years, American universities have enabled China “to leapfrog into the cutting edge of military capability on the way to superpower status,” Richard Fisher, senior fellow on Asian Military Affairs at the International Assessment and Strategy Center in Alexandria, Virginia, said in an e-mail.

Chen Dingchang, the head of a Chinese military-sponsored working group on anti-satellite technology, led a delegation in 1998 to the University of Florida to learn about diamond-coating manufacturing, used in missile seekers and other systems, said Mark Stokes, executive director of the Project 2049 Institute in Arlington, Virginia, which studies Chinese aerospace technology. In a 1999 report in a Chinese journal, the authors, including Chen, said the university’s cooperation would assist in overcoming a technical bottleneck in China’s development of anti-satellite warheads.

Full article: U.S. Colleges Infected by Foreign Spies: FBI (Bloomberg Businessweek)