The United States Pentagon has officially warned that China is making significant progress in weapons that can narrow the disparity in space technology between the communist country and America.
China has investors that are pouring substantial amounts of money into weapons that have the ability to jam and destroy satellites, according to a new report. These weapons could create an immediate threat to U.S. national security and this advance in Chinese technology was one of the reasons provided to establish the U.S. Space Force under the Trump administration.
Rear Admiral Michael Studeman, a high ranking intelligence officer for the Pentagon’s Indo-Pacific Command, said in a recent webinar that China’s development of anti-satellite (AST) weapons can be considered “dazzling to jamming, to kinetic kill-from-the-ground, from space — all that, they’re on the march.”
Studeman also said, “They take a look at our space capability and want to equal and exceed those and be able to dominate to guarantee themselves the maneuvering they need to be able to secure their objectives if they’re in a fight.”
The U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) warned the U.S. Intelligence Community in April about China’s military advancements. The warning stated that the Chinese military will “integrate space services — such as satellite reconnaissance and positioning, navigation, and timing and satellite communications — into its weapons and command-and-control systems to erode the U.S. military’s information advantage,” according to MSN.
The Director of National Intelligence insisted that the development of space weapons will be an integral part of future military deterrence in space. This office also expressed concern for ASAT weapons and the need to “field new destructive and nondestructive ground- and space-based antisatellite (ASAT) weapons,” in its annual “Threat Assessment” report.
Along with these warnings, the report also specified that China has developed “ground-based ASAT missiles intended to destroy satellites in low-earth orbit and ground-based ASAT lasers probably intended to blind or damage sensitive space-based optical sensors.”
The U.S. is now forced to take preventative measures against the threats that are facing the country from China. The U.S. Space Force is developing a collection of up to 48 such ground-based weapons over the next seven years. The first of these new weapons was declared operational in March 2020.
Studeman provided an assessment of disparities between the two countries as it applies to the future of the development of weapons used in space for our national defense. He described the increase in development by the United States and acknowledged the threat from China.
“It will be a game of measures and countermeasures and counter-countermeasures for some time to come,” Studeman said.
Studeman’s comments mark the most current unclassified assessment of the counter-space capabilities of a nation that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin repeatedly refers to as the top challenge for U.S. defense planning and spending.
The U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in April that the Chinese military “will continue to integrate space services — such as satellite reconnaissance and positioning, navigation, and timing and satellite communications — into its weapons and command-and-control systems to erode the U.S. military’s information advantage.”
The House Appropriations Committee, in a draft report on the fiscal 2022 defense bill obtained by Bloomberg Government, focused its concern on “the growing threats posed by ground-based lasers capable of damaging or destroying sensitive space sensors in low-orbit, and the lack of a coordinated strategy to understand this threat and develop concepts to mitigate its risks.”