ussia has reportedly tested a new space-based anti-satellite weapon intended to destroy satellites, pouring even more gasoline on the fire between the and U.S. Russia regarding the weaponization of Space.
Citing sources from U.S. Space Command, a report in the UK Sun says researchers said they have “evidence that Russia conducted a non-destructive test of a space-based anti-satellite weapon.”
Weaponizing space introduces a host of technological, tactical and strategic questions, and has of course inspired the Pentagon to stand up the U.S. Space Command.
Of course, space war means new threats to GPS, weapons guidance, navigational and missile defense systems. China has long been known to be testing anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons for quite some time and with some success. However, Russia’s new weapon is reportedly a space-based weapon. This introduces a new scope of threats, if perhaps a wide range of space assets were armed with these kinds of weapons.
The current Pentagon space posture has had many significant elements, including redundancy, disaggregation and the fast construction of a new fleet of lower-flying, faster and smaller satellites to improve networking speed and survivability, among other things. Very Low Earth Orbit (vLEO) satellites help with the redundancy and disaggregation strategy as they can be fielded in larger numbers dispersed across wide geographical areas.
Once vLEO satellites are networked to one another they can help cover more areas faster and develop more of a continuous track of approaching threats. vLEO satellites can move faster and operate in greater numbers, therefore helping the strategic emphasis upon redundancy. For example, should one satellite or several satellites be attacked, taken out or disabled, others within the network can sustain the mission.