16:35 GMT06 April 2020
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    COLORADO SPRINGS (Sputnik) - US Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said on Tuesday that Moscow and Beijing are developing their capabilities to disrupt US satellites.

    "We face a more competitive and dangerous international security environment than we have seen in decades… Russia and China are developing capabilities to disable our satellites," Wilson said at the annual Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.

    Wilson added that the United States would work with their allies to improve operations, enhance deterrence and defend vital national interests in space.

    Russia and China have both declared their commitment to the use of space for peaceful purposes and are members of the United Nation’s Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

    As part of the September Xiamen declaration, the leaders of BRICS countries, including China and Russia, have called on world states to carry out peaceful exploration in outer space and in accordance with international law, stressing that outer space should remain free from any kind of weapons and use of force.

    Heather Wilson also said that the United States aims to deliver the next generation missile warning satellites four years faster than originally scheduled.

    "We have canceled the 7th and 8th Missile warning satellites and instead will build more survivable alternatives," Wilson said on Tuesday. "As we develop these new systems, speed matters. SBIRS 7 and 8 was scheduled to take nine years to design and produce. The schedule for its replacement is five years. Our goal is to cut four years off the procurement of the next generation Missile warning satellite."

    Wilson said US President Donald Trump’s fiscal year budget acceleratesn the development of more resilient and defendable satellites equipped with jam resistant GPS and advanced high frequency communications.

    The Secretary spoke on the sidelines of the 34th annual Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

    The event brings together representatives of the world's space agencies, commercial space businesses as well as military, national security and intelligence organizations to discuss and plan the future of space exploration.


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