US Wary of Russian and Chinese Antisatellite Weaponry

CC0 / / A Pentagon artist's concept of a ground / space-based hybrid laser weapon, 1984
A Pentagon artist's concept of a ground / space-based hybrid laser weapon, 1984 - Sputnik International
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US National Intelligence believes the two countries are planning to create and use such weapons to knock out any US and allied satellites that could give them the upper hand on the ground.

Director of National Intelligence Daniel R. Coats has stated in his report that in the era of global space expansion, some countries, such as Russia and China are seeking to create antisatellite weapons (ASAT) to reduce the military effectiveness of US (and its allies') forces on the ground. According to the report, these weapons will reach their operational capacity within a few years.

READ MORE: US Refused Russia, China Offers to Ban Anti-Satellite Activities

National Intelligence claims that China has already formed special military units, which began training with existing missile-based ASAT weapons. According to the report, Russia "probably" has the same system under development, with no further details on the country's antisatellite program being given.

The report also elaborates the thought that some peaceful space technologies, such as satellite inspection, refueling and repair, may be allegedly used by these two countries to launch an offensive on US satellites.

READ MORE: PHOTOS Show Alleged Soviet Nuclear-Powered Satellites in Space

The report came out at roughly the same time as news resurfaced about the US plans to launch additional Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) (also knows as "doomsday")  satellites, which can be used to establish reliable communications even after a nuclear attack or in the event of jamming devices being used. There are currently four such satellites in orbit and the US will spend $29.8 million to launch two more.

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