U.S. military satellites in crisis as foreign weapons advance and proliferate

(Associated Press/File)

(Associated Press/File)

 

The U.S. military’s satellite communications are facing a crisis, threatened by a growing array of foreign weapons, including cyberattack capabilities, lasers, electronic jammers and anti-satellite weapons, according to a Pentagon study.

An executive summary of the report by the Defense Science Board warns that military satellite communications used for global operations “will be contested by a myriad of effects ranging from reversible to destructive.”

“The estimated and projected electronic threats against satellite communication (satcom) have rapidly escalated in the last few years and will continue to increase in the foreseeable future,” the report says. 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