Overblog Suivre ce blog
Editer l'article Administration Créer mon blog
23 mars 2015 1 23 /03 /mars /2015 12:20
Is the Pentagon Losing the Arms Race in Space?

 

March 18, 2015 By Franz-Stefan Gady – The Diplomat

 

Pentagon officials are deeply worried about Chinese and Russian anti-satellite weapons. Are their concerns justified?

 

This year, the Pentagon will try to step up its weapons modernization programs and boost investments in cutting-edge defense technology. As the principal rationale behind the Pentagon’s push, top Department of Defense officials cite the fear that the United States will lose its relative technological superiority thanks to the burgeoning technical capabilities of the Chinese and Russian militaries .

Yesterday, speaking at the McAleese/Credit Suisse Defense Programs Conference, Robert O. Work, deputy U.S. secretary of defense, noted that “because of budget uncertainty and restrictions imposed by Congress, and because of our unrelenting focus on the readiness of forward deployed forces, we’re chronically underinvesting in new weapons and capabilities.”

He further emphasized, “That should give all of us pause because our technological dominance is no longer assured (…) We see several nations developing capabilities that threaten to erode our long-assured technological overmatch and our ability to project power.” Chinese and Russian growing military capabilities are  particularly worrisome for the Pentagon’s leadership.

The American military’s chief weapons buyer, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall, said during his presentation at the conference that the erosion of the U.S. technological edge in the space domain is “particularly bad” due to Chinese and Russian growing anti-satellite capabilities.

These capabilities potentially include cyber and electromagnetic attacks, jamming operations, and ground-based lasers as well as anti-satellite (ASAT) missiles. For example, China destroyed a defunct weather satellite with a missile in 2007. In addition, Beijing tested a missile-fired anti-satellite kill vehicle in the summer of 2014, disguising it as a ballistic missile defense test. Russia is allegedly developing a satellite hunter — a spacecraft able to track enemy satellites and destroy them — according to media reports.

U.S. officials are especially concerned about threats to U.S. Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellites. “If an adversary were to take out one, just one satellite in the constellation, a geographic hole is opened and we potentially have a situation where the president can’t communicate with forces in that part of the world,” one official underlined.

However, many analysts note that the current threat scenarios have much more to do with the ongoing debate about sequestration — across the board budget cuts — and the fiscal year 2016 defense budget request (see: “The Defense Budget Debate Rages On”) than the actual danger to U.S. satellites from Chinese and Russian weapons.

As Diplomat contributor Jaganath Sankaran noted back in 2014: “While these concerns have some validity, all U.S. military satellites are not equally vulnerable to a Chinese ASAT attack. Furthermore, the benefits from an ASAT attack are limited and would not confer decisive military advantage in every plausible conflict.”

“The substantial range of orbital altitude — 1,000 kilometers to 36,000 kilometers — from which satellites operate poses a challenge to China’s ability to attack U.S. military satellites (…) Unlike the U.S., China has a very limited satellite tracking capability, most of which are based in its territory and possibly a few ships,” he adds.

More importantly he emphasized that “the presence of alternate platforms and built-in redundancies substantially limit the advantages that China can obtain from anti-satellite operation against the U.S.”

In November 2014, the Pentagon launched the Defense Innovation Initiative (DII), an initiative to maintain America’s military dominance for the 21st century and to develop a new third offset strategy. “The DII’s leading focus is to identify, develop and field breakthrough technologies and systems and to develop innovative operational concepts to help us use our current capabilities in new and creative ways,” Deputy Secretary Work said.

Partager cet article

Repost 0

commentaires

Présentation

  • : RP Defense
  • RP Defense
  • : Web review defence industry - Revue du web industrie de défense - company information - news in France, Europe and elsewhere ...
  • Contact

Recherche

Articles Récents

  • News review for Industry - European Defence Agency
    source European Defence Agency If you want to subscribe to the News Review, or if you want to stop receiving the News review: News4Ind@eda.europa.eu News of the News EDA Study on the Impact of REACH & CLP European Chemical Regulations on the Defence Sector:...
  • Chronique culturelle - 13 Février 2017
    13 février 1960 explosion de la première bombe atomique française 13.02.2017 source JFP 13 février 1692 : massacre du clan Mac Donald dans la Glencoe (Ecosse).Le protestant Guillaume d’Orange ayant mis en fuite le catholique Jacques II, les chefs de clans...
  • Le PGHM et le GAM s’entraînent ensemble au secours en montagne
    Equipement de passage en neige - photo GAM Armée de Terre 07.02.2016 source 27e BIM Le lundi 13 février 2017 se déroulera un entraînement conjoint entre le peloton de gendarmerie de haute montagne (PGHM) et le groupement d’aguerrissement montagne (GAM)...
  • ITW SDBR : général Vincent Desportes, Professeur des Universités associé à Sciences Po Paris, Ancien directeur de l’Ecole de Guerre
    23.01.2017 par Alain Establier - SECURITY DEFENSE Business Review N°164 SDBR : Quel regard portez-vous sur la Défense de la France ? Vincent Desportes* : A l'issue de cette mandature, nous voyons un empilement d'actions réactives, à vocations plus politiciennes...
  • Chronique culturelle 9 Janvier
    Hussards du régiment de Bercheny en 1776 09.01.2017 source JFP 9 janvier 1778 : mort du créateur des régiments de Hussards (Luzancy – près de Meaux). Emigré hongrois et excellent capitaine au service de la France, Ladislas Ignace de Bercheny , obtient...
  • Chronique culturelle 04 Jan.
    Insigne général des Troupes de Forteresse de la Ligne Maginot 04.01.2016 source JFP 4 janvier 1894 : signature de l’alliance franco-russe. Préparée par de nombreuses activités bilatérales dans les années précédentes, une convention militaire secrète est...
  • Chronique culturelle 03 Jan.
    Napoléon en Egypte par Jean-Léon Gérome 03.01.2017 source JFP 3 janvier : Sainte Geneviève, patronne de la gendarmerie. Issue de la noblesse gallo-romaine du IVe siècle, elle convainc les habitants de Lutèce de ne pas livrer leur ville à Attila, roi des...
  • Au Levant, contre Daech avec les Forces Spéciales
    photo Thomas Goisque www.thomasgoisque-photo.com Depuis plus de deux ans, les hommes du C.O.S (Commandement des Opérations Spéciales) sont déployés au Levant et mènent, en toute discrétion, des opérations contre l’Etat islamisque.Au nord de l’Irak, ils...
  • Les blessés en Opérations extérieures ne prennent pas de vacances !
    Source CTSA Pendant la période des fêtes de fin d'années, le nombre de donneurs diminue dangereusement. Le site de Clamart du Centre de transfusion sanguine des armées (CTSA) invite fortement les donneurs des communes proches à profiter des vacances de...
  • Interview SDBR de Gaël-Georges Moullec, Historien
    photo SDBR 20.12.2016 par Alain Establier - « SECURITY DEFENSE Business Review » n°162 SDBR: Comment va la Russie aujourd’hui? Gaël-Georges Moullec * : Il n’y a plus d’ascenseur social dans la Russie d’aujourd’hui, ce qui est un problème moins connu,...

Categories