Star War: how space is becoming a new arena for confrontation between Russia and US

The US on Thursday accused Russia of testing anti-satellite weapons. What is behind this statement?

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Reports of how Russian military aircraft are dangerously close to American ones, strategic missile carriers are moving towards America, and Russian warships are in the area of ​​important NATO communications hubs, have long been no surprise. All this has become a symbol of the confrontation between Russia and the United States, which is reaching new heights. In the literal sense of the word.

US space command on Thursday night accused Russia of testing anti-satellite weapons. According to Washington, they took place on July 15. Then the Russian satellite “Kosmos-2543” launched an object into orbit near another Russian satellite. Russia has a different version: on July 15, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported that was experienced by the new surveyor satellite, which surveyed another satellite at close range.

However, the United States is confident that the nature of the tests conducted excludes the possibility that Russia has tested the satellite inspector. “The Russian satellite system, which has conducted weapons testing in orbit, is the same system that caused us to express concern earlier this year when Russia was maneuvering near a US government satellite,” said US Space Force chief John Raymond.

It is not the first time that Russia has been accused of testing space-based weapons. In August 2017, Americans reported that another object, Kosmos-2521, separated from the Kosmos-2519 satellite, from which, in turn, a third, which the Americans considered a shell, separated with a relative speed of 250 km / h. And in January of this year, the Kosmos-2542 apparatus (according to the Americans, an analogue of Kosmos-2519) dangerously approached in orbit with the US satellite.

“Space is now a separate area of ​​warfare,” reads a new US defense strategy in space, unveiled last month. It follows from it that Beijing and Moscow have become the main strategic threats.

China is also testing weapons in space. In 2007, he destroyed one of his old weather satellites with a ballistic missile. Washington interpreted this as a demonstration of China’s ability to shoot down American satellites, writes Financial Times. It was this launch that forced the United States to rethink its approach to space, the newspaper adds.

What has Russia been doing in space in recent years? In 2015, the Space Forces were recreated as a separate branch of the military. “Maintaining strategic stability and military parity” depends on “the ability to effectively solve security tasks in space,” Vladimir Putin said in May 2019. “Over the past six years, a lot has been done to improve the Russian orbital constellation of military and dual-use spacecraft,” the president said.

In April, the US accused Russia of testing a missile system designed to counter satellites in low Earth orbit. Western defense agencies also argue that Russia’s Peresvet ground-based laser weapons system could destroy or damage satellites.

However, Moscow denies that it seeks to militarize space. Two days before the planned July launch, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said: “We are ready to talk with our American colleagues … to establish cooperation for the peaceful uses of outer space” (quoted by the Financial Times).

However, the United States thinks otherwise. The alleged tests are further evidence of “Russia’s continuing attempts to build and test space systems in line with the Kremlin’s military doctrine of using weapons that endanger US and allied space devices,” said US Space Force chief John Raymond the day before.

“This event underscores Russia’s hypocritical support for arms control in space, with which Moscow is trying to limit the capabilities of the United States, with no intention of suspending its own confrontation program in space – both ground-based anti-satellite capabilities and what looks like a truly orbital anti-satellite weapons, ”said US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Ford, who is responsible for arms control and international security.

The United States is not only making loud statements. In December, Donald Trump announced the creation of the US Space Force. The US defense space strategy states that Washington wants to build up its “space power” over the next decade.

The further the situation, the more it resembles the 1980s. Then, at the end of the Cold War, the United States adopted the Defense Initiative Strategy, better known as “Star Wars”. The strategy itself, which involved the deployment of a space-based missile defense system, was phased out in the early 1990s, but it seems that no one has canceled Star Wars.

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