Published: Thu, February 14, 2019
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

US space capabilities being challenged by Russia-China says Pentagon

US space capabilities being challenged by Russia-China says Pentagon

Running into more than 40 pages, the report mentions India a few times and describes China and Russian Federation as a major challenger to the US, Iran and North Korea as other space challenges.

"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.

'We are aware that the US Defence Intelligence Agency has made reckless comments about China's space development. But Rep. Mike Rogers, then-chairman of the US House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee, told CNN in 2018 'the future of war will be fought in space.' 'Russia and China are surpassing us in space capabilities, and we need to dedicate a separate force exclusively with a space mission, ' he said.

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The Pentagon's lead intelligence agency has warned that Russian Federation and China are building technologies that will soon threaten US dominance in space.

"The PLA owns and operates about half of these ISR systems, most of which could support monitoring, tracking and targeting of U.S. and allied forces worldwide, especially throughout the Indo-Pacific region", it said. "These are totally groundless", ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Tuesday. The proposal-entitled the Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects-was immediately shot down by the USA, which labeled it "a diplomatic ploy by the two nations to gain a military advantage", according to Nuclear Threat Initiative. She said such developments were "more likely to turn into reality the risks of weaponizing outer space and making it a battlefield". These agreements prohibit the placement of weapons of mass destruction (but not other weapons) in space.

"As the number of satellites grows, so does the threats posed by space debris", the official said. They are developing systems that pose a threat to freedom of action in space. "That makes tracking satellites and discriminating satellites from threats and nonthreats and predicting and preventing collisions more challenging".

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About 1,800 of the 21,000 large objects in space - those measuring at least four inches - with rest as debris, including parts of spacecraft, according to the report. "Additionally, there is a wave of exciting commercial technologies and investments in space that are expanding the potential opportunities, the benefits we can all enjoy".

"China likely is pursuing laser weapons to disrupt, degrade, or damage satellites and their sensors and possibly already has a limited capability to employ laser systems against satellite sensors", the report said, noting Russian Federation was doing the same.

"Space is fundamental to USA prosperity", the Pentagon official said. The application on a hand-held device that gives directions, calls rideshare auto or locates a lost package is enabled by the Global Positioning System constellation operated by the U.S. Air Force.

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