Pentagon: U.S. Must Secure, Safeguard Capabilities in Space

ChinaSpace

The agency, the Defense Department's in-house intelligence operation, warned that lasers that could damage USA satellites were of particular concern.

China operates both a regional and worldwide satellite navigation system. China was excluded from the International Space Station largely due to concerns over its space program's connections to the military and USA legislation barring such cooperation.

Asked if the U.S.is now in a space race with Russian Federation and China, the defense official said, "We certainly recognize this as a competition".

China and Russian Federation have developed counterspace capabilities, including ground-based missiles aimed at satellites, jamming of signals to or from satellites, ground-based directed energy weapons, kinetic-kill vehicles, space-based counters and more.

"The use of space has greatly expanded USA military ability to project power globally", a US defense intelligence official said, adding they can do so with fewer troops deployed and therefore less risk to American service members.

The increase in orbiting garbage has spurred the development of space debris removal technology - but the agency warns that such technology is "dual-use because it could be used to damage another satellite".

"Both countries have developed robust and capable space services, and these capabilities provide their militaries with the ability to command and control their forces worldwide, and with enhanced situational awareness enabling them to monitor, track and target US and allied forces", a senior DIA official said, speaking to reporters on background.


Russian Federation and China introduced a proposal to ban the placement of weapons to the United Nations Conference on Disarmament over a decade ago in 2008.

President Trump previous year announced plans for a Space Force, a new branch of the United States armed forces charged with developing next-generation aerospace military technology and "space warfighting" tactics.

Reacting to the report, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Tuesday: "First of all, I want to make it clear that outer space belongs to all mankind. We are at risk unless we posture ourselves properly".

"These capabilities provide their militaries with the ability to command and control their forces worldwide with enhanced situational awareness, enabling them to monitor, track and target U.S. and allied forces", it said. That includes China establishing "a strategic support force to integrate its space, cyberspace and electronic capabilities". "As the number of satellites grows, so does the threats posed by space debris", the official said.

In 2003, China became the third country to achieve independent human space flight with the Shenzhou 5 spacecraft, commanded by astronaut Yang Liwei.

"Space is fundamental to USA prosperity", the Pentagon official said.

Space is integral to America's economic and commercial success. The application on a hand-held device that gives directions, calls rideshare vehicle or locates a lost package is enabled by the Global Positioning System constellation operated by the U.S. Air Force.

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