Washington: China and Russia have the capability to destroy the US satellites. Although these two countries are promoting peace within space as of now, the situation will be different in the times of war. Knowing that the US largely depends on its defence and private satellites, China and Russia could use anti-satellite missiles, energy weapons or lasers, cyber jamming and other satellites to destroy the US satellites, was the warning given by the US Defense Intelligence Agency director Lieutenant General Robert Ashley.
This is the third warning issued by the US intelligence to the Senate in the last three months. Two days ago, while speaking before the ‘Armed Services Committee’ of the US Senate, Lieutenant General Ashley and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, reminded of the big challenge from Russia and China to the US supremacy in the space.
Out of the thousands of satellites orbiting the earth, only about 37.5% i.e. 1738 satellites are said to be active as of now. Out of these about 600 belong to the US while Russia and China have 133 and 177 satellites respectively. Therefore, the US is currently dominating the space. But Coates and Lt. Gen. Ashley expressed concern that this supremacy will not last for long.
China and Russia do not accept this disparity and they both can use the anti-satellite missiles to bring the US down to their level, warned Ashley and Coats. These attacks will result in crashing the US GPS systems and other satellite dependent technologies. If this happens, the government, military and commercial agencies in the US will collapse, claimed the Director of US National Intelligence. The Chinese and Russian anti-satellite missiles can take off into the space to challenge the US space supremacy in a few years, said Coats in front of the Senate. Coats reminded that China had warned the US on the same lines, a few days ago.
China is objecting to the co-operation between the US and Taiwan. Coats drew attention to the Chinese threat issued to the US that if the US continued to support Taiwan, China can use its strength in the space. Whereas, Lieutenant General Ashley referred to the threat by the Russian President Vladimir Putin a few months ago of attacks on the US satellites for supremacy in space.
The threat of the Chinese and Russian missiles has been underlined by senior officials in the US military previously as well. Two months ago, a senior senator had warned that the US dependence on the satellites will prove to be its biggest drawback. The Pentagon officials had appealed that the US should take necessary steps for securing its satellites. The Trump administration has appealed to the Senate and the House of Representatives to clear the proposed increase in the defence expenditure of the Pentagon, to achieve this.