Russia and China are developing new space-based weapons and they’ll be ready “in the near future,” Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said Tuesday at the Defense One Technology Summit in Washington, D.C.
The countries, which Ashley called “competitors,” are developing “the ability to interdict satellites both from a ground standpoint and from a space standpoint,” he said. “The technology is being developed right now. It is coming in the near future.”
It was the most overt admission yet from an intelligence leader that Russia and China were rapidly seeking to weaponize space. But a February report from the Office of the Director of Intelligence also hinted at it.
“Russia and China continue to launch ‘experimental’ satellites that conduct sophisticated on-orbit activities, at least some of which are intended to advance counterspace capabilities,” the report said. “Some technologies with peaceful applications—such as satellite inspection, refueling, and repair—can also be used against adversary spacecraft.”
Ashley’s remark comes in the context of a new fight to establish a “Space Force,” an entirely new U.S. military service dedicated specifically to space. Ashley didn’t say whether a separate force was a good idea, but did offer that the technological advancements available to peer nations would pressure U.S. dominance in that domain.
“The competition is only going to grow,” said Ashley. “Look at the national defense strategy. There is an acknowledgement that our technological lead is vanishing… And so when you get to the warfighting doctrine you have to account for … what is the resilience you build into the domains, the redundancy? When it’s been degraded or denied, how do you fight?”
The irony is Democrats in Congress laughed when Trump said America needed a Space Force. They gasped when Trump announced the creation of the Space Force. The Pentagon said we couldn’t do it. And now, the coup de grace…
The Pentagon says we need a Space Force.
Trump did not go into details about what military role the so-called “space force” would carry out or who would command it, but he framed space as a national security issue, saying he does not want “China and Russia and other countries leading us.”
O4aNews warned in a report that China was rapidly preparing a military space force with the intent of dominating Earth orbit and beyond.
China is rapidly building space weapons and other advanced arms infused with artificial intelligence capabilities as part of Beijing’s bid for military dominance, according to a congressionally sponsored study.
Anti-satellite missiles and orbiting killer satellites, swarms of attack drones, hypersonic missiles, maneuvering warheads, lasers, and high-speed rail guns are key systems China is fielding in the coming years in a bid to leap ahead of the U.S. military supremacy.
“All of China’s advanced weapons systems are moving forward at ‘full speed’ and are all seen as ‘priorities given [China’s] overarching emphasis on finding a vulnerability in the U.S. armor,’” the report warns, quoting a 2013 Chinese military strategy.
The advanced weapons are part of a shift in Beijing’s military focus from deploying high-technology “informatized” weapons to “intelligentized” arms—revolutionary capabilities boosted by artificial intelligence and machine learning, the report said.
The study examined five advanced arms being developed by China: space weapons, unmanned vehicles, maneuverable missile warheads, directed energy weapons, and electromagnetic railguns.
“Past history and existing potential point fairly clearly to the likelihood that these systems will become a feature of the strategic landscape in a decade. Or less,” states the report from the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.
The report was produced by five analysts for the defense contractor Jane’s IHS Markit.
Publication of the congressional report comes as the Trump administration has undertaken a strategic shift that recognizes China as one of the major nation state threats facing the United States.
The advanced weapons systems will destabilize the Asia-Pacific region by upsetting alliances as China seeks to control the area and will increase the danger of regional conflicts.
The report also concludes the United States is falling behind China in the development of advanced weapons and will have to hurry to avoid being overtaken.
“The United States has a small window to develop new capabilities and concepts for countering China’s advanced weapons programs,” the report said.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
June 28th, 2018