12:58 GMT +316 October 2018
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    New 'Star Wars' Program? SpaceX Open to Deploying Orbital Weapons for US

    © AFP 2018 / Gene Blevins
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    In July 2018, Defense Undersecretary for Research and Engineering Michael Griffin called for the deployment of space-based sensors aimed at detecting ballistic missile launches at their early stages. He also suggested stationing interceptors in orbit around Earth capable of downing such missiles.

    SpaceX's President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell announced during the Air Force Association's annual conference that the space company is ready to deploy "offensive weapons" in orbit around the Earth for the US government, if it were to ask SpaceX to do so, Defense One reported.

    "If it's for the defense of this country, yes, I think we would," she said.

    Previously, Defense Undersecretary for Research and Engineering Michael Griffin said in July 2018 that the US needs to deploy a "sensor layer" in space in order to be able to detect launches of hypersonic ballistic missiles. He claimed that the reason for such a deployment is not technological or economic, but a "policy-decision-making" one.

    He further suggested deploying 1,000 missile interceptors in space, claiming that it would cost less than what the US Defense Department had spent over recent years on missile defenses, but would be more effective.

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    Tags:
    orbital weapons, Star Wars, SpaceX, United States
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