Thursday, July 23, members of the armed forces of the United States and the United Kingdom has accused Russia of conducting earlier in July, tests anti-satellite space-based weapons, saying that one of the Russian satellites have separated an object capable of destroying satellites.
Thus the United States first accused Moscow of testing such weapons. “Space command of the United States has evidence that Russia held non-destructive testing anti-satellite space weapons,” — said the command in his statement, adding that July 15, Russia “put into orbit a new object, separated from the “Space 2543″”, the Russian satellite that is in orbit in 2019.
The statement also says that this new “object” was put next to another Russian satellite. As noted by the representatives of the Space command of the United States, such actions are “not consistent with the stated mission of this satellite inspector”.
“Such actions threaten the peaceful uses of outer space and pose the risk that the debris may create a hazard for satellites and space systems that affect the world. We call on Russia to refrain from conducting such tests,” — said the head of the British space program Vice-Marshal Harvey Smith (Harvey Smyth).
The accusation came amid high tensions between Washington and Moscow on a range of issues. Over the past few days, the United States accused Russia in a number of illegal actions, including in conducting cyber-attacks against organizations involved in the development of vaccines against coronavirus in human rights violations and the use of Russian mercenaries to destabilize the situation of Libya. Allegations that Russian agents had offered the Taliban (members of prohibited in Russia organizations — approx. ed.), monetary rewards for killing American soldiers in Afghanistan, further increased tensions between the United States and Russia.
Although previously the United States has accused Moscow of testing of ASAT weapons, this time to Washington for the first time publicly accused Russia of testing, “orbital” weapons, i.e. space-based weapons.
“The Russian satellite system, which was used for testing of this orbital weapon is the same satellite system, about which we expressed our concern earlier this year when Russian spacecraft had made a maneuver near the satellite of the American government,” — said General John Raymond (John W. Raymond), head of the Space command of the United States and commander of the space forces of the United States.
“This is another evidence of the ongoing attempts of Russia to develop and test a space-based system, which is consistent with published Kremlin military doctrine, lead to the use of such weapons that pose a threat to space objects, the United States and its allies,” he added.
In April of this year, the United States accused Russia testing anti-satellite missiles.
Russian and Chinese anti-satellite weapon was named one of the reasons why the United States needed to create a special space forces, which is currently headed by Raymond.
Us satellites played a key role in many areas, including navigation, weapons targeting and intelligence gathering, and surveillance over the implementation of the North Korean nuclear programme and the actions of the armed forces of Russia and China. That is why the United States feels concern about the growing ability of Beijing and Moscow to strike at satellites.
A few days before the tests of the new Russian space-based weapons, the U.S. state Department officials announced that they plan to hold a meeting with representatives of Russia on the issues of space security at the end of July. The report also stated that Christopher Ford (Christopher Ford), assistant Secretary of state, currently acting Deputy Secretary of state for arms control and international security, have agreed on all the details of this meeting with the Russian Ambassador.
In his statement Thursday, July 23, Ford sharply criticized the Russian test of anti-satellite weapons, stating that “this episode underscores the hypocrisy of Russia, which supports the control regime for space weapons, in order to limit the potential of the United States, even though she obviously is not going to stop its own programme for the development of space weapons as anti-satellite ground-based systems, and the present orbital anti-satellite weapons”.