Archive for the ‘anti-satellite’ Category

China boosts military, cyberwarfare capabilities

March 26, 2009

A CNN news story on a Pentagon assessment of China’s military says, “China’s military is developing longer-range ballistic and anti-ship missiles that are “shifting the balance of power in the region” and could help Beijing secure resources or settle territorial disputes, a report released by the Pentagon said Wednesday.”

U.S. and Chinese militaries need "resumption of dialogue,"  Adm. Timothy Keating told Congress. 

U.S. and Chinese militaries need “resumption of dialogue,” Adm. Timothy Keating told Congress.

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China is continuing a large-scale military buildup of high-tech forces that includes “disruptive” anti-satellite missiles, new strategic forces, and computer attack weapons, the Pentagon’s annual report to Congress on the Chinese military says.

“China has made steady progress in recent years in developing offensive nuclear, space, and cyber warfare capabilities — the only aspects of China’s armed forces that, today, have the potential to be truly global,” says the report entitled “Military Power of the People’s Republic of China (PRC)” that was released Wednesday.

By Bill Gertz
The Washington Times

While noting that China has limited ability to sustain power far from its shores, the report warns that Beijing’s communist controlled armed forces “continue to develop and field disruptive military technologies, including those for anti-access/area-denial, as well as for nuclear, space, and cyber warfare, that are changing regional military balances and that have implications beyond the Asia-Pacific region.”

Anti-access and area denial weapons include precision-guided ballistic and cruise missiles and submarines that are designed to attack aircraft carriers, the report said. The report also criticized China’s arms sales to countries like Iran, Sudan and Zimbabwe. It noted that Chinese arms supplied to Iran were found to have been transferred to terrorist organizations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This is a serious issue that the United States continues to monitor, the report said.

Under a section on significant developments over the past year, this year’s report for the first time described China’s efforts to develop and wage computer warfare by attacking networks and electronic infrastructure.

In 2008, numerous computer systems around the world, including those owned by the U.S. Government, continued to be the target of intrusions that appear to have originated within the PRC, the report said.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2
009/mar/26/pentagon-beijing-boostin
g-cyberwarfare/

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China Objects To U.S. View

AP

China is criticizing a newly released U.S. report on Beijing’s growing military power as interference in its internal affairs, and says it could damage military relations between the two nations.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Wednesday at a regularly scheduled press conference that “China resolutely opposes it and has made solemn representation to the U.S. side.”

A U.S. Defense Department report released in Washington, D.C. said that Beijing continues to develop weapons that threaten longtime rival Taiwan, even though tensions between the two sides have been reduced significantly.

The report also said that China is developing longer range capabilities that could have an effect beyond the Asia-Pacific region.

See also CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiap
cf/03/25/china.military.report/index.html

Russia building anti-satellite weapons

March 5, 2009

Russia is working to develop anti-satellite weapons to match efforts by other nations, a deputy defense minister was quoted as saying Thursday.

Gen. Valentin Popovkin said Russia continues to oppose a space arms race but will respond to moves made by other countries, according to Russian news reports.

“We can’t sit back and quietly watch others doing that, such work is being conducted in Russia,” Popovkin was quoted as saying.

Russia already has some “basic, key elements” of such weapons, but refused to elaborate, Popovkin said.

Popovkin, who previously was the chief of Russian military Space Forces, reportedly made the statement at a news conference in response to a question about U.S. and Chinese tests of anti-satellite weapons.

In February 2008, a U.S. Navy ship launched a missile that hit a dying spy satellite. The test boosted the credibility of missile defense advocates. In 2007, China destroyed one of its own defunct satellites with a ballistic missile.

The Kremlin has criticized U.S. plans for space-based weapons, saying they could trigger a new arms race. Russia and China have pushed for an international agreement banning space weapons, but their proposals have been rejected by the United States.

As part of missile defense plans developed by the previous U.S. administration, the Pentagon worked on missiles, ground lasers and other technology to shoot down satellites.

George W. Bush’s administration plan to locate missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic put it at odds with Russia, which opposed the move as a threat to its security.

President Barack Obama has signaled that he might forgo an anti-missile system in Eastern Europe if Russia helps end a standoff over Iran‘s nuclear ambitions.

–Associated Press

Satellite and space weapon dilemma

January 30, 2009

The column I began writing at 7 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001, addressed the American military’s reliance on satellites and issues involving “a potential arms race in space.” Of course, by 9 a.m., space militarization became less pressing, as al Qaeda turned jumbo jets into ballistic missiles and murdered 3,000 innocents.

By Ausin Bay
The Washington Times

When China tested an anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon in January 2007, I considered resurrecting the column, but America‘s “surge” in Iraq shoved outer space aside.

The Obama administration has revived the subject – after a fashion. Check the White House Web site on the page detailing defense-related campaign promises. The new administration opposes “weaponizing space” and will “restore American leadership on space issues. …” Restoration means seeking “a worldwide ban on weapons that interfere with military and commercial satellites” and includes “thoroughly” assessing “possible threats to U.S. space assets and the best options, military and diplomatic, for countering them. …” President Obama promises to accelerate “programs to harden U.S. satellites against attack.”

Though the fervent language implicitly suggests this is a dramatic change from the Bush administration, it actually echoes Maj. Gen. James Armor’s congressional testimony of May 2007 during hearings investigating the implications of China’s anti-satellite test. The hearings were the unclassified component of a thorough assessment of a real threat to U.S. space assets, the Chinese ASAT, and a public example of U.S. leadership on space issues.

Gen. Armor (director of the Pentagon’s National Security Space Office) noted that changes in U.S. space policy since the Eisenhower administration “have been evolutionary” (i.e., have changed, based on experience), but “the key tenets have remained remarkably consistent. One such tenet is the compelling need for a strong national security space sector and the inherent right of self-defense to protect U.S. national interests in space.” Yet U.S. space policy, Gen. Armor argued, is “based on a longstanding U.S. commitment to peaceful uses of outer space. …”

Advertising execs know touting laundry soap as “new” or “improved” increases sales, though the “new” product differs little from the old. From Dwight Eisenhower to George W. Bush, administrations have had to balance the “peaceful use” of space against evolving technological threats to its peaceful use. The same dilemma confronts Mr. Obama and will vex his successor, as well.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/ne
ws/2009/jan/30/satellite-and-sp
ace-weapon-wiggle/