01:02 GMT13 July 2020
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    Recently released images, which were provided by retired Indian Army Col. Vinayak Bhat, a satellite imagery analyst who specializes on China, have revealed the presence of an anti-satellite laser base in the western Chinese province of Xinjiang.

    According to the Washington Free Beacon, the base is located roughly 145 miles south of Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, and is situated near a lake.

    ​"In terms of satellite tracking, Chinese technology has grown in leaps and bounds. There are now many space tracking stations dotted all over the country — like one in Ngari, Tibet — which provide accurate data about satellites to be targeted," Bhat said in his report for Indian outlet The Print.

    "Once the accurate satellite path and other data is known, directed energy weapons (DEW) located at five different places can take over the task. One such facility is located in Xinjiang."

    In his analysis of the base, Bhat notes that it features four main buildings with sliding roofs, and that three of those buildings are linked to "two vacuum spheres," which suggest that "chemical lasers are being used with rare earth metals like neodymium." Bhat based his speculation off both the shape and size of the buildings.

    Bhat added that the smallest of the four buildings is likely used for tracking satellites, while the others are either used "individually or in conjunction with each other, depending on the effect on the targeted satellite." He also explained that the satellites can be "dazzled, disabled or destroyed" by the lasers housed at the base.

    And that's not all, folks. Over yonder by the mountains of Xinjiang, Chinese officials have reportedly been dabbling in electromagnetic pulse (EMP) experiments. In a test location discovered by Bhat, an EMP generator can be seen.

    "A road leads in and out under the cylindrical EMP generator for equipment and vehicles to be placed exactly under the generator," writes Bhat. "This facility is used for researching methods of hardening Chinese military equipment and reverse effects on adversaries' equipment using electronic components."

    "Another facility in the vast arid land of Xinjiang is also seen experimenting on mobile pulse generators. These types of non-nuclear pulse generators are used for creating electromagnetic interferences that can disable satellites in a very short span of time," Bhat added.

    Bhat's findings come after the US' Defense Intelligence Agency released a report in February 2019 detailing China's intentions to deploy a ground-based laser cannon within the next year.

    "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 reads.

    "China likely will field a ground-based laser weapon that can counter low-orbit space-based sensors by 2020, and by the mid-to-late 2020s, it may field higher power systems that extend the threat to the structures of non-optical satellites."

    The report cited a variety of space warfare tools that included electronic jammers, cyber attacks and small satellites that China could use to attack those belonging to the US in the event that a future conflict breaks out.


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