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Space Warfare: Russian Satellite-Killer Weapon Now Tracking U.S. Tech, Pentagon Warns

Putin's New Satellite-Killer Weapon Tracking US Tech, Pentagon Warns
Source: MEGA

Putin has deployed new satellite-killed weapons that are reportedly tracking U.S. tech, experts say

May 23 2024, Published 11:03 a.m. ET

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Vladimir Putin has deployed a powerful new weapon system into space, capable of destroying other satellites, the United States has warned.

The Pentagon revealed that the Russian counter-space weapon has been placed in the same orbit as a US government satellite and may already be tracking it, The Sun reported.

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The Russian space object, believed to be Cosmos-2576, was launched recently using a Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, located approximately 497 miles north of Moscow.

It now shares an orbit with the American spy satellite USA 314, operated by the US National Reconnaissance Office.

According to The Sun, an unofficial Russian source indicated that the launch carried a "secret military device." Although initially identified as a Russian space satellite, the US now suspects it could be a counter-space weapon designed to attack other satellites.

"Russia launched a satellite into low Earth orbit that we assess is likely a counter-space weapon," Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said. "It was deployed into the same orbit as a US government satellite, and assessments indicate characteristics resembling previously deployed counter-space payloads from 2019 and 2022."

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The US is closely monitoring the situation and is prepared to protect and defend the space domain, ensuring uninterrupted support to military operations, according to the report.

Russia's Roskosmos state space agency confirmed that the launch was conducted in the interests of the Russian Federation's defense ministry.

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A US official informed CNN that the launch had been anticipated for several weeks and was closely tracked by the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the US Northern Command. The US has increasingly focused on deterring Russia from developing a nuclear space strike capability, which could potentially cripple commercial and government satellites essential for communication and internet services.

While no such Russian nuclear weapon is currently in orbit, US intelligence warned in February that Russia might plan to launch space-based nukes, posing a grave threat to global security. Military experts suggest that Putin might resort to using these deadly weapons if his power were threatened by Ukraine and the West.

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Putin has previously tested orbital weapons designed to destroy Western satellites, such as the anti-satellite weapon Cosmos 2543. Although it was not armed with a nuclear warhead during its 2020 test, there are concerns that future versions could be.

Juliana Suess, a Research Analyst at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), emphasized that it would be a mistake to assume Putin wouldn't risk everything by deploying nukes in space.

Dr. David Jordan, Co-Director of the Freeman Air & Space Institute at King's College London, warned that Putin might make a rash decision to use nuclear weapons in space out of spite or if he believed he could get away with it, especially if he thought his power was in jeopardy.

Despite Putin and former defense minister Sergei Shoigu's public stance against space warfare and the deployment of nuclear weapons in space, Russia recently vetoed a US resolution at the UN aimed at preventing the weaponization of space.


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