UK and US Say Russia Fired Satellite Weapon in Space

A Soyuz-2 1b rocket carrying the Russian military satellite Kosmos 2546 was launched by Russia in May. Credit: Russian Defence Ministry/Tass

SophieL

US and UK accuse Russia of testing a weapon-like projectile in space, which may be used to target satellites in orbit.

The US State Department expressed concerns “what would appear to be actual in-orbit anti-satellite weaponry,” reflecting the most recent US issue with new Russian satellite activity.

  • The Russian defense ministry said it uses new technology to check Russian space equipment.
  • This accusation is the first time the UK participates in concerns about Russian threats.
  • US Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Non-proliferation, Christopher Ford, said “Moscow aims to restrict the capabilities of the United States while clearly having no intention of halting its own counter-space programme.”

Russia, the UK, the US, and China joined a space treaty that requires exploration of space to solely serve peaceful purposes.

  • Air Vice Marshal Harvey Smyth, the head of the UK’s space directorate, expressed concern about the latest Russian satellite test, which had the “characteristics of a weapon.” Such actions “threaten the peaceful use of space.”
  • Moscow investigates the use of one satellite to kill another. Space has become the new frontier as satellite become more essential for intelligence gathering, communications, navigation, and early-warning.

Read the full report.

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