Retired Air Force General : This Is How Space War Will Be Fought

Friday, 16 March 2018 - 10:43AM
Technology
Military Tech
Space
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Friday, 16 March 2018 - 10:43AM
Retired Air Force General : This Is How Space War Will Be Fought
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Image Credit: Pixabay
When Ronald Reagan imagined the battle for space, he envisioned something out of Star Wars (and who can blame him): a global defense system made of lasers, particle beam weapons, missiles, and command centers that could knock nuclear weapons out of the atmosphere before they annihilate their targets. These days, however, it's not nuclear ICBMs we're worried about – it's satellites.

The space race between the US, Russia, and China is heating up faster than anyone predicted. China has announced plans to become the global leader in space exploration within the next few decades, and Russia is expanding its space program to include Mars missions and an interplanetary base near Venus. Space is now the center of attention for industry and exploration, and that means sooner or later someone's going to try to take advantage of it to get the upper hand in warfare. Unfortunately for sci-fi fans, this probably won't take the form of giant space carriers dumping hundreds of starfighters into low-Earth orbit to defend space-based laser facilities. Instead, it's going to be more about anti-satellite (or ASAT) technology.

The US military satellite program is among the most advanced in the world, but this is a double-edged sword: military operations have become so dependent on high-quality, timely data from these satellites that destroying or jamming them for even a short while can cripple their ability to monitor and respond to threats, especially missile launches. Military leaders like General John Hyten have already cautioned that China and Russia are developing anti-satellite programs to do just that.

According to RealClearLife, there are four major ways someone can take out a satellite:

1. The Kinetic Method – Hitting it with some kind of missile (or even another satellite) to disable it.
2. The Non-Kinetic Physical Method – Dazzling a satellite's sensors with light or lasers.
3. The Electromagnetic Method – Disrupting communications between the satellite and its receivers on the ground.
4. The "Cyber" Method – Hacking a satellite to mess around with the data it delivers or receives.

According to retired Air Force Major General Robert Latiff, "I don't think a war in space is going to be a shooting war. Space is just another area of operations, just like an enemy will try to attack our supply lines … They're going to attack our eyes and ears ... Satellites do a lot of things for the military. If someone were to interfere with them, it'd be serious."


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Retired Air Force General Robert Latiff: This Is How Space War Will Be Fought
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