New details of Chinese space weapons revealed

A forthcoming report by the congressional U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission provides new details of China’s space-weapons programs, dubbed counterspace arms, that are aimed at destroying or jamming U.S. satellites and limiting American combat operations around the world.

“China is pursuing a broad and robust array of counterspace capabilities, which includes direct-ascent anti-satellite missiles, co-orbital anti-satellite systems, computer network operations, ground-based satellite jammers and directed energy weapons,” a late draft of the commission’s annual report states. “China’s nuclear arsenal also provides an inherent anti-satellite capability.”

China military planners expect to use a combination of kinetic, electronic and cyber attacks against satellites or ground support structures in a conflict. Continue reading

Securing Command — Strategic commander worried about cyber attacks on nuclear command and control

At times, news like this makes one wonder if it’s a strong case of déjà vu that was probably never fully admitted.

U.S. strategic nuclear weapons and the command systems that control them are vulnerable to cyber attacks although most are hardened against many types of electronic attacks, the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command said on Tuesday.

Air Force Gen. C. Robert Kehler said during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee that nuclear weapons and the communications used to control them are older and thus less vulnerable to disruption by computer network attacks.

“However, we are very concerned with the potential of a cyber related attack on our nuclear command and control and on the weapons systems themselves,” Kehler said. “We do evaluate that.” Continue reading