Space Force denounces China and Russia's deployment of armed satellites

Gen. B. Chance Saltzman warned in the Senate that space weapons from both countries could attack U.S. troops in the event of a conflict.

Space Force General B. Chance Saltzman warned that Russia and China are deploying armed satellites with which they could attack U.S. troops in the event of a future conflict. In a hearing before the Senate, the official stressed that both countries seek to end U.S. supremacy in space, for which they could seek to destroy national satellites.

China, "biggest immediate threat"

According to the four-star general, the "most immediate threat" comes from the Chinese communist regime. Chance Saltzman stressed that the Asian country's modern space warfare weapons have the capability to attack U.S. satellites as of now. The Russians, for their part, despite their more obsolete space weaponry, also pose "a serious threat" of attack or disruption to U.S. satellites.

According to the report presented by the general, the Chinese military have deployed 347 satellites, 35 of them in the last six months. Moscow is also testing and deploying orbital anti-satellite weapons, extensive cyber capabilities and ground-based anti-satellite missiles, electronic jammers and lasers.

Space, key to future wars

In the view of the Space Force, the two countries "intend to attack perceived U.S. vulnerabilities and eliminate the U.S. advantage in the space domain. Both expect space to be key to future warfare by enabling long-range precision strikes. Both seek information superiority through disabling an adversary’s space communication and navigation systems."

Saltzman insisted that Beijing aims to become the world's leading space power by 2045, as part of what Chinese officials have called a "space dream." To that end, it has engaged in a massive build out of space weapons and technology to attack space systems and terrestrial components, deploying lasers that can attack satellite sensors and electronic warfare devices that can disable GPS satellites and communications satellites.