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article imageRussia accused of testing space-based anti-satellite weapon

By Karen Graham     Jul 23, 2020 in Politics
US Space Command said Thursday that it has evidence that Russia tested a space-based anti-satellite weapon last week, revealing that Cosmos 2543, a Russian satellite released some sort of projectile into orbit.
In a statement on Thursday, the U.S. Space Command described the action by the Russian satellite as a “non-destructive test of a space-based anti-satellite weapon," according to The Hill.
The object was released close to another Russian satellite. "The Russian satellite system used to conduct this on-orbit weapons test is the same satellite system that we raised concerns about earlier this year, when Russia maneuvered near a US government satellite," Gen. John Raymond, the commander of US Space Command said in the statement, reports Business Insider.
:This is further evidence of Russia's continuing efforts to develop and test space-based systems, and consistent with the Kremlin's published military doctrine to employ weapons that hold U.S. and allied space assets at risk,” Raymond added.
:This event highlights Russia's hypocritical advocacy of outer space arms control, with which Moscow aims to restrict the capabilities of the United States while clearly having no intention of halting its own counterspace program — both ground-based anti-satellite" capabilities and what would appear to be actual in-orbit anti-satellite weaponry," Christopher Ford, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State who is currently performing the duties of the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, said in the same statement, according to Space.com.
Raymond brought up a previous event he labeled as "unusual and disturbing" in February of this year after two Russian satellites in the system (COSMOS 2542 and COSMOS 2543) followed a U.S. spy satellite, the USA 245.
The United Kingdom also backed the United States in its accusation. We are concerned by the manner in which Russia tested one of its satellites by launching a projectile with the characteristics of a weapon,” Air Vice-Marshal Harvey Smyth, the head of the U.K.’s space directorate, said in a statement tweeted out by the U.K. Defense Ministry.
“Actions of this kind threaten the peaceful use of space and risk causing debris that could pose a threat to satellites and the space systems on which the world depends."
More about Russia, US space force, spacebased weapon, antisatellite weapon, inspector satellite
 
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