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US military has countermeasure for Russian space nukes

A color photo of the "Trinity" test, the first nuclear test explosion. (Jack W. Aeby/U.S. Department of Energy)
May 28, 2024

In February, House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Turner released a cryptic statement urging the White House to declassify all information regarding a threat to national security. Now, officials are stating the prospect of a threat was overblown and that there is no need for public alarm.

According to The Associated Press, John Kirby, White House national security spokesman, referred to Turner’s statement as “regrettable,” adding, “First, this is not an active capability that’s been deployed and though Russia’s pursuit of this particular capability is troubling, there is no immediate threat to anyone’s safety. We’re not talking about a weapon that can be used to attack human beings or cause physical destruction here on Earth.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov suggested the release was planned with a political goal of securing the passing of a bill to supply aid to Ukraine, stating, “It’s obvious that Washington is trying to force Congress to vote on the aid bill by hook or by crook. Let’s see what ruse the White House will use.”

READ MORE: China now has 500+ nukes, will have 1,000+ by 2030: Pentagon

The weapon in question, according to reports, is an anti-satellite measure in development by Russian forces. While details on whether the weapon is nuclear-powered have not been released, the potential for disruption to US satellites, infrastructure and communications has not been ignored. Although the weapon is not currently in operation, if deployed and powered with nuclear technology, its use would violate the international Outer Space Treaty.

The treaty, signed by over 130 countries in 1967, bans the stationing of weapons of mass destruction in space and prohibits military activity on any celestial body. The measure has been criticized for failing to include consideration for space debris related to space exploration activities; however, to date there has been no permanent placement of military weapons in space by any country.

According to, the United States previously demonstrated an effective countermeasure for Russian space nukes. Toward the end of the Cold War, the U.S. military successfully used an F-15A to deploy an ASM-135 missile and take down a satellite in space. reported that Maj. Gen. Wilbert “Doug” Pearson Jr. was tasked with the mission in 1985 and is the only Air Force pilot to shoot down a satellite in space.