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Pentagon: China could blow up US satellites with new space missiles

Air Force Space Command’s “Neighborhood Watch” satellites (U.S. Air Force/Released)
January 24, 2019

The Chinese military has positioned numerous missiles that have the capability to destroy U.S satellites.

Pentagon intelligence has stated that the Chinese military has begun training with satellites capable of destroying satellites, The Free Beacon reported.

The report, released in December, cautions that China and Russia have built a collection of space missiles intended to defy U.S. space dominance.

Further, the Chinese military is already in the process of training for anti-satellite missile space combat and Russia isn’t far behind.

“These missiles can destroy U.S. and allied space systems in low earth orbit, making intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and communications satellites vulnerable,” the report said.

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“Multiple attack options—cyber, electronic, or directed-energy weapons; anti-satellite missiles; or space-based weapons—enable potential adversaries to achieve a range of damaging effects,” the report added.

These missiles that are in the hands of China could compromise the constellations and satellite systems used by the Air Force which are critical to national security.

According to defense officials, “China could cause major disruptions in U.S. military operations that are heavily dependent on satellites for communications, intelligence, and precision guidance for missiles and bombs,” The Free Beacon added.

A senior defense intelligence official said, “The biggest concern is that they are getting to a point where the PLA leadership may actually tell [President Xi Jinping] they are confident in their capabilities. We know in the past they have considered themselves a developing, weaker power,” Asia Times reported.

“As a lot of these technologies mature, as their reorganization of their military comes into effect, as they become more proficient with these capabilities, the concern is we’ll reach a point where internally in their decision-making they will decide that using military force for regional conflict is something that is more imminent,” the official added.

Rick Fisher, a China military expert, said, “The 25-page NASIC report, ‘Competing In Space,’ is important U.S. government confirmation that the PLA has progressed from a demonstrated ASAT weapon in January 2007, to multiple units equipped with ASAT missiles.”

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He added, “While the PLA now has actual units of ASAT weapons targeting critical American military and civilian space assets, the United States does not have a similar organized counter-space capability. We are basically disarmed in the face of an active Chinese military-space capability.”

Fisher points the finger at the Obama administration who refused to develop and advance U.S. military space capabilities.

He said, “America and its allies are very fortunate that President Trump has decided that the U.S. military requires a new Space Force. This is not an offensive or destabilizing initiative; it is now a necessary and defensive capability that is urgently required by the United States.”

According to the report, “PLA writings emphasize the necessity of ‘destroying, damaging, and interfering with the enemy’s reconnaissance … and communications satellites,’ suggesting that such systems, as well as navigation and early warning satellites, could be among the targets of attacks designed to ‘blind and deafen the enemy.'”

The report further stated, “Reduced launch costs and proliferation of space systems will drive more countries to integrate space weapons into their militaries. Terrorists also could use space to support attacks using intelligence, communications, and navigation space systems.”

If China and Russia were able to destroy GPS satellites, among those affected include “police, firefighters, and paramedics and prevent rapid response to emergencies; news, long-distance telephone, satellite television, and internet service also would be unavailable. Retail stores and gas stations would be unable to communicate with banks to handle purchases and critical services “could be affected by weapons targeting our space services,” the report said.