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China Orbiting 400 Satellites, Heading for 1,000 by 2030, US Space Command Chief Says

© AFP 2023Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China's Gansu province
Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China's Gansu province - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.04.2021
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - China now has 400 satellites in orbit, second only in number to the United States and it is projected to have at least one thousand of them deployed by the end of this decade, Space Command chief Army General James Dickinson said in congressional testimony on Tuesday.

"Back in 2010 they had 70 satellites in orbit: Today they have 400," Dickinson told the US Senate Armed Services Committee. He further projected that Beijing would have deployed "about 1,000" satellites in earth orbit by 2030.

Dickinson said China has already developed "robust and capable" space services, including space-based intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (IRS) systems, and are also upgrading their space launch vehicles and satellite navigation constellations.

The Chinese BeiDou navigation system is now globally operational, he also said.

"Operated collectively, these capabilities provide their military with the ability to globally command and control their forces, enhance their situational awareness, as well as enable them to monitor, track, and target adversary forces. China also has multiple ground-based laser systems of varying power levels that could blind or damage satellite," Dickinson said.

China is developing a broad complement of jamming and cyberspace capabilities, directed energy weapons, on-orbit capabilities, and ground-based anti-satellite missiles and its ISR satellites are capable of providing electro-optical and synthetic aperture radar imagery, as well as electronic intelligence and signals intelligence data, he added.

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