Russia Made 'Very Troubling Development' in Space

Department of DefenseA U.S. Air Force depiction of a space intercept

Department of DefenseA U.S. Air Force depiction of a space intercept

The news comes after Donald Trump proposed to build an American "Space Force" earlier this month.

A United States official contended the Russian satellite orbiting the earth was acting suspiciously, labelling its recent launch as "a very troubling development".

Poblete's warning comes on the heels of a U.S. Department of Defense report to Congress with recommendations on how to create a new military branch dedicated to warfighting in space.

In a recent press briefing, Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control Dr. Yleem D.S. Poblete suggested that a group of Russian satellites may have been placed in orbit as a weapon against US space assets, an orbital parasite that may be able to maneuver in orbit, evade USA sensors, and disable, attack, or otherwise interfere with other orbiting objects like reconnaissance and Global Positioning System satellites.

Russia's pursuit of counterspace capabilities "is disturbing given the recent pattern of Russian malign behavior", she said, and its proposed treaty would not prohibit such activity, nor the testing or stockpiling of anti-satellite weapons capabilities.

Russian Federation has dismissed the comments as "unfounded, slanderous accusations based on suspicions". Poblete was speaking before the global body for negotiating arms control to express the U.S.'s "serious concerns" about Russia's push to launch weapons in space, especially anti-satellite weapons that can target satellites that the US relies on for business, scientific and military purposes.

But Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled in March "six new major offensive weapons systems", including the Peresvet military mobile laser system, Poblete said.

She claimed Russia's proposals for a treaty detailed by Russia's Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, were not to be taken seriously.

"The United States has clearly articulated the many flaws of this draft treaty", Poblete said.

A senior Russian diplomat in Geneva, Alexander Deyneko, dismissed the tough talk, telling Reuters it was "slanderous accusations based on suspicions, on suppositions and so on".

"We don't know for certain what it is and there is no way to verify it", the BBC reported her as saying.

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The report stated: "Chinese analysts surmise that the loss of critical sensor and communications capabilities could imperil the USA military's ability to achieve victory".

However, Russia, with the support of China, has drafted what is known as the PPWT - a "Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects".

"We do have some soft-kill capability, such as jamming". But before we all have a Sputnik-style heart attack, its worth remembering that the USA has invested massive amounts of private and public money towards space superiority.

It is not now clear the precise nature of the service - but it is thought to comprise a military force with fighting capabilities in space.

While there is no evidence other than "abnormal behaviour" to suggest the unusual satellite is some kind of space weapon, the U.S. position is that without any means of investigating the craft beyond remote observation - a limitation of the Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects (PPWT) - it's impossible to dig deeper.

Alongside the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, it will comprise the sixth arm of the US armed forces.

"These include the development of counter-space weapons by a number of nations".

The US already has some space fighting capabilities, with long-range missiles to satellite tracking.

Trump said in the East Room of the White House: "My administration is reclaiming America's heritage as the world's greatest spacefaring nation".

"The essence of the American character is to explore new horizons and to tame new frontiers".

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