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

World’s first ‘Quantum’ compass will supersede GPS

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The MoD has been investing enormous amounts of money into constructing independent navigation devices, particularly for use on its nuclear submarines.

 

After millions of pounds of funding from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) under the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme, British scientists have constructed what they claim to be humanity’s first quantum ‘compass,’ a navigational device independent of the satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS).

The instrument, built by scientists at the Imperial College in London, England, is claimed to be able to ascertain the exact location of anything on Earth without relying on satellites, as does the GPS network. Continue reading

Europe’s Newly Launched Satellite Navigation System is Precise down to a few Centimeters

A major part of the European Army’s military infrastructure is now up and running, and is maybe already being tested by spying on Israeli settlements.

For further information, see the following previous posts:

The EU’s Covert Military Satellite Program

Europe Launches Key Galileo Satellites

 

We tend to use “GPS” the way we use “Kleenex” or “Band-Aid”—as a brand name substitute for the generic “satellite navigation system.” But the Global Positioning System is actually quite specific: It’s a constellation of 27 satellites and a global network of control facilities on the ground developed and operated by the Defense Department.

There are other sat-nav systems, though, and since 2011, most sat-nav consumer devices, including Apple’s and Samsung’s, have receivers for both the U.S. GPS and Russia’s Global Navigation Satellite System, or GLONASS—a 24-satellite network operated by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. (There are other regional systems, like the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System and China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System; but GPS and GLONASS are the only fully global networks.) Continue reading

China Prepares for Anti-Satellite Missile Test

DN-3 test contrails

DN-3 missile spotted preparing for launch

China is preparing to conduct a flight test of a new missile capable of destroying satellites in space, one of Beijing’s most potent asymmetric warfare weapons.

Test preparations for the Dong Neng-3 anti-satellite missile were detected at a military facility in central China, according to Pentagon officials familiar with reports of the impending test. Continue reading

China Has a Plan to Beat the U.S. in Space

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Astronauts Chen Dong, left, and Jing Haipeng at a ceremony prior to the launch of the Shenzhou 11. (Photographer: Li Jin/VCG via Getty Images)

 

The launch of the Shenzhou 11 spacecraft in western China last month marked another great leap forward for the nation’s space program and its ambition to send manned missions to the moon and, eventually, Mars. Yet more than national prestige is at stake: China is counting on its space program to pay huge economic dividends.

China is NASA’s biggest rival in space exploration with plans to land “taikonauts” on the moon by 2036 and Mars thereafter. Along the way, President Xi Jinping hopes the space missions will spawn a wave of Chinese innovation in robotics, aviation and artificial intelligence, among other leading 21st-century technologies. Continue reading

Moscow Building Spy Site in Nicaragua

If you think a Russian presence in Nicaragua is new, you might be in store for a shock. The Soviet-Nicaraguan runs decades long, even before the Cold War.

The Russians actually have built and kept airfields there maintained. They’re large enough to support heavy strategic bombers. These are also decades old, but were built with future use in mind. They also wanted (and likely still want) to build a deep water port there. Nicaragua will be used as a staging ground for a Soviet invasion from an almost undefended Southern United States. This is a strategic spot not only for bombings from America’s south, but also a means to control the strategic sea gate(s) in Panama.

This is likely more than a spy station that they want now, as a spy station is unsettling, but less unsettling than announcing plans for a strategic attack launching area in the open. Either way, it just shows you that Nicaragua was communist and still remains communist, and that the decade old plans for both against the West never died.

Here are three sources on this, one of which is from a Ronald Reagan address to the nation:

Address to the Nation on the Situation in Nicaragua – March 16, 1986

Russia reality check: Red invasion from Nicaragua

Red Dawn Alert: Russia, Nicaragua to reactivate Punta Huete; Soviets built strategic bomber-capable runway in 1987, MiG-21s expected but never arrived

 

Signals intelligence facility part of deal for 50 Russian tanks

The Russian government is building an electronic intelligence-gathering facility in Nicaragua as part of Moscow’s efforts to increase military and intelligence activities in the Western Hemisphere.

The signals intelligence site is part of a recent deal between Moscow and Managua involving the sale of 50 T-72 Russian tanks, said defense officials familiar with reports of the arrangement. Continue reading

There’s No Backup System if GPS Fails

This should be troubling to anyone paying attention to anything else other than their favorite sports team. Reason being: The GPS infrastructure is already out-dated and crumbling as we speak. The system used to to guide troop movements, assist with logistics support and situational awareness, guide missiles and bombs, and synchronize communications networks is due to collapse by 2020 if nothing is done about it. Without it, America would face a choice: Be crippled for years until a backup system takes place, or become dependent on Russia’s GLONASS system, or even China’s BeiDou navigation satellite system. If this seems far fetched, ask those in NASA who have to hitch rides on Russian rockets to reach space nowadays at a very high cost — or those in the satellite launching industry who rely on Russian rockets because America doesn’t supply them anymore.

 

In only took 13 millionths of a second to cause a whole lot of problems.

Last January, as the U.S. Air Force was taking one satellite in the country’s constellation of GPS satellites offline, an incorrect time was accidentally uploaded to several others, making them out of sync by less time than it takes for the sound of a gunshot to leave the chamber.

The minute error disrupted GPS-dependent timing equipment around the world for more than 12 hours. While the problem went unnoticed by many people thanks to short-term backup systems, panicked engineers in Europe called equipment makers to help resolve things before global telecommunications networks began to fail. In parts of the U.S and Canada, police, fire and EMS radio equipment stopped functioning. BBC digital radio was out for two days in many areas, and the anomaly was even detected in electrical power grids. Continue reading

Russia, China develop navigation system draft for SCO, BRICS

Russia kicked GPS out of its country back in June of 2014, while BeiDou was first introduced in late 2012. Meanwhile, the aging U.S. GPS is on the verge of collapse.

A new world without the U.S. continues to form.

 

Russian and Chinese experts have developed a draft project to create a global international navigation system based on China’s BeiDou and Russia’s GLONASS satellite navigation for the member states of BRICS group and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Russian Space Systems company said in a statement on Tuesday. Continue reading

Glonass system can fully switch to domestic electronics in 2 years

The Russian Glonass global navigation system will fully switch to domestically-produced electronic components in the next two years, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Thursday. Continue reading

An SOS for GPS: Act Now, Or the Entire System Risks Collapse

I’d like to begin this new column with the dire warning that the sky is falling, and not just because this is my first official regular column I’m writing for Nextgov. Yes, I no longer have “guest” as part of my title and will now be able to bring you what is hopefully informative and entertaining columns on a regular basis right here at the world’s best government-focused technology magazine.

For those of you who don’t know me all that well yet, my background is deep in technology, especially the really geeky stuff that can sometimes make your (and my) head spin. I’ve been fortunate enough to work for some impressive publications in a review capacity over the past twenty years, and gotten my hands on a lot of interesting products and services aimed at both the federal government and the private sector. Continue reading

Russia to ‘restrict’ US-run GPS satellites

Not only are they going to kick the US satellite system out, they will build their own on American soil.

Russian authorities have “implemented measures” to restrict the use of satellite bases in its territories that serve the US-owned GPS network.

The country’s space agency said it would rule out “any military use” of the ground-based stations.

The move comes amid Russian attempts to build a US base for its GPS rival, the navigation system Glonass, which have been blocked by the US government. Continue reading

General: Strategic Military Satellites Vulnerable to Attack in Future Space War

U.S. strategic military satellites are vulnerable to attack in a future space war and the Pentagon is considering a major shift to smaller satellites in response, the commander of the Air Force Space Command said Tuesday.

Gen. William Shelton said in a speech that China currently has a missile that can destroy U.S. satellites and warned that the threat of both space weapons and high-speed orbiting debris is growing. Continue reading

U.S. Considers Russian Request to Install Satellite Monitoring Stations

The only thing more alarming than Russia wanting to install monitoring stations within the United States itself is that the U.S. government is actually allowing for it to be considered.

If history has told us anything during the Obama administration’s second term in regards to big changes, is that this has a good chance of being allowed via executive order, effectively bypassing congress and the constitution itself. They’re letting the lion into the sheep den.

The Obama administration continues to review Russian proposals to install up to six monitoring stations on U.S. territory for its satellite navigation system, despite strong opposition in Congress.

In May 2012, Russia made a formal request to install base stations in the United States to monitor its Global Navigation Satellite System, or GLONASS.  Kenneth D. Hodgkins, director of the State Department’s  Office of Space and Advanced Technology, told a space navigation and timing advisory board meeting last Thursday that “U.S. officials have requested more information through discussions led by State in coordination with executive branch departments and agencies.” Continue reading

Indian advance in space

Everybody is advancing, just not the United States.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 – On July 1, 2013 Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) received another boost by the launch of a geostationary satellite. Though the rocket has a presumable reach of 6000 km but this apparently peaceful advancement in space has military potential. For instance, it is a step towards India’s gradually building anti-ballistic missile defense shield and enhancement of its reconnaissance potential. One wonders if this potential militarization of space will ultimately lead to weaponisation and compel New Delhi’s current and future adversaries to respond in letter and in spirit.

These satellites carry peaceful payloads and can also carry weapons of mass destruction. For instance, satellites delivery systems help place in the outer space navigation solutions like the American Global Positioning System, Russian GLONASS and Chinese Beidou. Likewise, if nuclear weapon warhead is emplaced on the rocket, it can take the living daylights out of the civilizations. Continue reading

China: Our Anti-satellite Weaponry Is a ‘Trump Card’ Against the U.S.

Amid reports on January 7 that Beijing is preparing to carry out another anti-satellite weapons test, state media said China has the right to conduct the test because the technology represents a “trump card” against American power.

In both 2007 and 2010, Beijing carried out anti-satellite weapons tests, and some U.S. analysts suspect that the next test will see China aiming for higher altitudes than in the previous ones—targeting an object around 12,000 miles above Earth’s surface. A report on Space.com said a test at such a level would place the constellation of America’s Global Positioning System (GPS) at risk. Continue reading