On June 19, 2020, the declassified part of the new Pentagon defense strategy in outer space was released, which clearly states that the United States considers this environment as a field of military operations.
An open document on the volume is small, but it clearly shows the position of the US military and their intentions with respect to space - the achievement and retention of US military superiority.
In the spirit of previous strategies and doctrines, the reason was again found in the person of Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, which do not allow American inhabitants to sleep peacefully.
The preparation of public opinion on this topic has been conducted for several years. As early as 2017, the Senate Intelligence Committee of the United States was considering a special report where it was said that Russia and China, in order to weaken the US military advantage, would use the “full range” of space warfare opportunities.
Such phobias were identified in an article by Forbes published in July 2019, which spoke about the possibility of cyber attacks on American military satellites from Russia and China. It was noted that "The electronic war in the European part of Russia and the Middle East, as well as offensive cyber operations in China, have become the reality of the hybrid war of the current day." The article also refers to the work of the Space Information Systems Advisory Committee, a report of which was published in 2015.
The new strategy says that space is not a safe haven from attack, and space systems are potential targets at all levels of conflict. Indicated that "China and Russia pose the greatest strategic threat due to their development, testing and implementation of countermeasures in space and related military doctrines, for employment in the conflict extends to space. China and Russia have their own space weapons as a means of reducing US military effectiveness and allies, which challenges the freedom of our actions in space. "
The strategy includes a phased approach to defense measures in four directions: 1) creating a comprehensive military advantage in outer space; (2) the integration of outer space into national, joint and combined operations; (3) the formation of a strategic environment; and (4) collaboration with allies, partners, industry, and other U.S. government and agencies.
It is alleged that the current US defense system in space was built without taking into account the current situation. And today, US interests in space have reached the point where they not only improve capabilities, but are also associated with lifestyle and methods of warfare. Consequently, US national security and prosperity require unhindered access to outer space.
However, in addition to the four countries mentioned, it is not at all indicated as a threat who can restrict US access to space. Moreover, for many years joint work has been carried out at the international orbital station.
The idea of creating space forces was voiced by Donald Trump in March 2018 in the context of his signing of the new National Security Strategy in December 2017, and Trump then stated that “space is an armed struggle zone, just like land, sea and airspace” . It was emphasized that "in military operations, space is not just a place from which we support military operations in other areas, but the field of military operations itself."
The costs of creating new space forces and their support over the next five years will amount to $ 13 billion. Until 2020, US military activity in space was provided by the US Air Force, but now the functions have become completely separate. According to the US Air Force, space forces will comprise 13 thousand personnel.
On January 21, 2020, the Space Development Agency of the United States (Space Development Agency) announced seven areas of work that they call constellations.
- Transport: reliable communications between US forces around the world.
- Combat management: provide command and control.
- Tracking: detection and tracking of enemy missiles, including supersonic.
- Guardianship: monitor enemy ground launchers and other mobile targets.
- Navigation: to improve or replace GPS.
- Containment: restrain hostile actions in "deep space", i.e. from the geosynchronous orbit of the earth to the moon.
- Support: for connecting terrestrial satellite systems, including launchers.
All of them should be put into active work by the end of 2020.
At the same time, it was announced that the Pentagon plans to create a large number of new satellites. They should be more economical in cost (about $ 10 million apiece) and lighter in weight (several hundred kilograms). In general, it was said about the creation of one satellite per week, and at such a pace, a new batch should be launched into orbit by 2022, and they should be updated every two years.
The American military-industrial complex, as always, readily responded to Raytheon Vice President of Outer Space, Cyber and Intelligence, Jill Klinger, believes that "the US space community should recognize the need for the full involvement of all space forces in the war." He says satellites are not just working. Supporting operations should also include harmonization, integration, and becoming an integral part of the operational capabilities that US troops use in other areas. Klinger proposes the creation of combined and joint space forces.
Starting in January 2020, the new US space forces began to create an arsenal of 48 ground-based weapons systems designed to temporarily suppress signals from Russian or Chinese communications satellites in the first hours of a possible future conflict. Their construction and commissioning is planned for the next seven years.
The first system created by L3Harris Technologies Inc. was declared operational in March 2020 after several years of development, and the Space Forces signed an agreement to supply 16 such systems. The service is also developing a new system, known as Meadowland, which is lighter, capable of adding updated software and suppressing more frequencies.
It should be noted that although Russia has repeatedly proposed the United States to sign an agreement banning the use of weapons in outer space, American lawmakers, intelligence officers and government officials who write about a possible conflict in outer space prefer to remain silent.