Military Review

Star Wars is getting closer

In outer space is becoming more closely. Nowadays, only operating satellites are in near-earth orbit around 1000, not to mention various space debris. Satellites retransmit television signals, provide communication, help car owners cope with traffic jams, watch the weather, synchronize the activities of global financial markets, and perform many other tasks. Their capabilities are in demand by many armies of the world.

For several years now, the Bundeswehr has been using 2 satellite communications for its purposes, which allow wiretapping protected telephone conversations, Internet access without any risk, and video conferencing. In the field of navigation, Germany is still using the American satellite GPS system, but the strategic importance of positioning on the ground is so great that Europe, like Russia and the PRC, is working to create its own navigation system. Cornelius Vogt of the German Foreign Policy Society (DGAP) notes that in the realities of the modern world no one wants to be absolutely dependent on anyone else, even the United States, which is one of our partners in the NATO bloc.

Currently, the international community allows the use of satellites for military purposes only on the condition that it will contribute to the maintenance of peace in the world. For example, according to estimates of the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), spy satellites are currently contributing to the stability of the situation in Southeast Asia, since with their help India and Pakistan can monitor each other’s military movements. However, with the increasing strategic importance of space satellites, the temptation to neutralize them also increases. Therefore, when in the 2007 year, Beijing destroyed its own meteorological satellite by rocket as an experiment, this was the subject of sharp criticism from the world community and China. And when a year later, the United States shot down a damaged satellite with a missile, this caused a backlash from Beijing.

Star Wars is getting closer

The current international situation and the trends of the emergence of new military conflicts on the planet allow us to say that the well-known ideas about the conduct of war are already seriously outdated. The goals of future wars are not the seizure of the territories of a conditional enemy, but the application of accurate strikes at his main pain points. The massive use of ground forces and armored vehicles is fading into the background. The role of strategic aviation. The emphasis in the traditional concept of “strategic weapons” from the “nuclear triad” is increasingly shifting to non-nuclear weapons based on high-precision systems weapons (WTO) a variety of ways of basing.

In turn, this leads to the placement in space of an increasing number of orbiters providing: satellite warning, reconnaissance, target designation, forecasting, which themselves need defense and protection. According to estimates of military experts, for example, Vladimir Slipchenko, who left not so long ago, already in the current decade the number of WTO from leading states of the world will increase to 30-50 thousand, and by 2020 year - to 70-90 thousand. The growth of high-precision weapons systems will be associated with the buildup of satellite constellations, without which all these weapons, capable of hitting a mosquito-sized target, will turn into the most useless hardware.

So hundreds of seemingly innocent "passive" spacecraft, which themselves are not shock systems, turned out to be an integral part of the main weapon of the 21st century - high-precision. Does the above imply the fact that the militarization of space, which is caused, among other things, by the need to protect satellite constellations, is only a matter of time? If we bear in mind the deployment of percussion weapon systems, that is, those systems that are able to independently destroy targets in space, on Earth and in the atmosphere, in a near-earth orbit, then yes. In this case, the cosmos risks becoming a “gun turret” that will hold the entire Earth at gunpoint.

To date, the most significant potential for the militarization of space has and is capable of realizing this potential in the foreseeable future, primarily the United States, Russia, and the PRC. In this case, the undisputed leader is Washington, which has a substantial arsenal of advanced space technologies, as well as a sufficiently developed, powerful scientific and technical base for the development and, possibly, adoption of certain samples of anti-missile and anti-satellite ground-based, sea-based and aerospace systems. coming years. The administration of US President Barack Obama actually operates in this area based on the principles that were developed by the commission chaired by Donald Rumsfeld as early as 2001. These principles recommend to vigorously implement the option of placing weapons in outer space to repel a threat and, if necessary, to protect against attacks on US interests.

In the past two decades, China has sharply intensified its work in the space sector. The fast-growing industry and the very high scientific and technical potential of this Asian country allow it to allocate huge funds for these purposes. Today, China’s military space program is aimed at developing means capable, in the event of a military conflict, either to prevent or limit the use of space weapons by an adversary against Chinese spacecraft, as well as ground-based objects of strategic importance.

In the interests of solving the designated tasks, not only research on the development of various types of space weapons, including radiation, kinetic, microwave, etc., is conducted, but also practical work on the study of anti-missile and anti-satellite technologies. An example that proves well is the PRC tests of anti-missile and anti-satellite weapons, which took place in 2007, 2010 and 2013.

According to Russian experts, at this stage of development, there is a possibility of placing and using in outer space 3s of the main categories of weapons: directional energy weapons, kinetic energy weapons and ordinary warheads delivered into space and from space. That is, first of all, such systems and types of weapons as kinetic, laser and beam. In this case, this weapon can be both space, and ground, sea or air-based. According to its purpose, it can be divided into anti-satellite, anti-missile, anti-aircraft weapons, as well as weapons used against land and sea targets and objects.

Experts believe that it is interceptor missiles that could potentially become the first really deployed weapon in outer space. Space provides the possibility of effective use of interceptor missiles and vehicles, which can be equipped with both non-nuclear and nuclear warheads, hitting military satellites and enemy missiles either by the impact of fragmentation elements of high-explosive ordnance, or by direct collision with them. A phenomenon that appeared relatively recently in global space activity is the miniaturization of spacecraft and satellites, including military ones. Nanotechnologies and modern materials make it possible to deploy compact, lightweight and cost-effective spacecraft in outer space that can effectively solve various tasks, including the destruction of larger satellites and space objects.

Implications and risks of a possible arms race in space

Today, many military experts believe that space weapons can be safely attributed to strategic weapons, since the state that can deploy such weapons in space will receive significant advantages. In fact, such a country will be able to monopolize access to space and its use. Currently, there are several main objectives for deploying space weapons: developing new capabilities for attacking enemy air and ground targets, strengthening the missile defense system (combating strategic ballistic missiles), creating the possibility of a sudden failure of the main space systems of a potential enemy. to significant material damage.

Risks associated with the operation of space systems of armaments: a rather high probability of man-made errors in military systems and a large amount of damage in case of failure of civil systems (meteorology, navigation, etc.), very often working in the interests of several states at once. According to the estimated information of the American expert Michael Krepona, the use of satellites in the world economy brings the global space industry an income which is more than 110 billion dollars a year, more than 40 billion dollars from this amount falls on the USA.

Taking into account the fact that the United States has made the most significant investments in space assets and is more dependent on them in conducting global military operations, the potential vulnerability of these assets to relatively simple means of destruction represents a more serious threat than any other possible danger in space. Therefore, speaking objectively, the ban on space weapons would be mainly beneficial to Washington, in order to protect its own assets.

Other consequences of a possible space weapons race include the clogging of the near-Earth orbit: testing and increasing the anti-missile and anti-satellite orbital groupings can lead to man-made obstruction of space, primarily low orbits, which will adversely affect the solution of Earth remote sensing problems, as well as manned programs. In the international political process, this can seriously damage the existing world structure of agreements on the limitation of various weapons systems, first of all nuclear missiles. It can be an incentive for a new round of the arms race, and help to weaken control over the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missile technologies.

During the Cold War, space in general remained peaceful. The Soviet-American ABM Treaty undoubtedly played a certain deterrent role, which, among other things, imposed a restriction on the creation by both states of systems or separate components of antimissiles based in space, and also obliged both powers not to interfere with national technical means of controlling the other party . However, not wanting to remain bound by this agreement, the United States withdrew from it unilaterally in the 2002 year.

In modern conditions, Washington’s military space ambitions can be restrained only by strengthening the already adopted and existing international legal norms and agreements that prohibit the use of space for deploying a weapon there. An important measure on this path could be the accession of the United States and other world powers with a space strike potential to the Russian moratorium on the non-deployment of the first weapons in outer space, as well as full-scale negotiations on the implementation of the Russian-Chinese initiative to create a treaty on preventing the deployment of weapons in space (PPJT). Unfortunately, the launch of such negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva has been hampered for many years by the actions of the United States and a number of other states.

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  1. erased
    erased 23 August 2013 09: 15
    Well, if the States had a hand in the failure of launches of our missiles with GLONASS satellites, then the space war is already underway. Further it will only be more fun. But Russia has nothing to adequately answer. Or just the gut is thin.
    1. Tan4ik
      Tan4ik 23 August 2013 09: 29
      What are you guys? You live in Russia and want something you don’t know about ?! Ay ah ah, you didn’t speak out well. After all, Moscow was not built immediately. Believe me, there will be something to answer. (This is about what you said about the small intestine).
  2. shiyanov.denis
    shiyanov.denis 23 August 2013 11: 14
    Under the USSR during the "COLD WAR", everyone knew that our country was one of the leaders in the space race. And science developed faster and more impressive. Everyone was proud that they lived in the USSR. And now we seem to have nothing to be proud of. They want to destroy science, rockets fall on the air ... recourse
    1. rotor
      rotor 23 August 2013 19: 53
      And who makes these missiles? Pensioners and youth, the rest fled during the restructuring.
  3. eplewke
    eplewke 23 August 2013 11: 46
    We can still fight for space. You are debiting us early. Give just a little time. No need to rely on the USSR, there is no country, but people remained. Talented people! Talented people are the guarantor of Russia's technological breakthrough. It is necessary to light it, start it.
    1. Tan4ik
      Tan4ik 23 August 2013 15: 58
      Yes, yes. Our people are really talented and inventive.
    2. AVV
      AVV 24 August 2013 19: 45
      In order for space to be controlled and military space forces created !!! And the Almaz-Antei concern and other interested departments are creating systems for destroying enemy military installations in space !!! Who has additional information, please post it !!!
  4. shiyanov.denis
    shiyanov.denis 23 August 2013 11: 49
    Quote: eplewke
    We can still fight for space. You are debiting us early. Give just a little time. No need to rely on the USSR, there is no country, but people remained. Talented people! Talented people are the guarantor of Russia's technological breakthrough. It is necessary to light it, start it.

    The whole thing is not in the people themselves, but in their worldview, and understanding of the very situation in which we found ourselves after the collapse of the USSR ...
    1. eplewke
      eplewke 23 August 2013 13: 40
      Not so bad. We still exist! It could have been worse, they would have disappeared altogether from the world map, there would have remained a handful of incompetent republics ... The people are the driving force. Under Peter, they did not believe in communism; under Alexander 2, we, too, did not build the country because of ideology ...
  5. High speed
    High speed 23 August 2013 12: 03
    It’s high time to say loudly, oh, sorry, we accidentally, we won’t ..., and explode the ammunition in this very space. See how all these groups behave.

    And better, about 7 pieces, along the edges of our Great Motherland
  6. Aryan
    Aryan 23 August 2013 12: 33
    What kind of star wars are there?
    do you still believe that those holes in the heavenly dome have stars and other worlds?
    THIS is the whole world cosmonaut conspiracy that Tippo Tuppa is round land!
    they are the kind of people they saw themselves!
    who do we trust? when will we have our brains? wassat
    1. Hariva
      Hariva 23 August 2013 12: 39
      Of course, of course! in fact, the earth is square! But only astronauts and those who live in the corners know about this.
      1. poquello
        poquello 23 August 2013 19: 43
        Quote: Hariva
        Of course, of course! in fact, the earth is square! But only astronauts and those who live in the corners know about this.

        interesting and how did those living in the corners define it? The Soviet people have long figured out that the earth has the shape of a suitcase and therefore has cooled to space.
    2. eplewke
      eplewke 23 August 2013 13: 42
      Do you hear this person? He is a little crazy ... Or in Moldova it’s really bad with the education system ... request
      1. Aryan
        Aryan 23 August 2013 23: 23
        before judging anything
        learn two words:
        "STOB AND IRONY"
        or die
  7. rotor
    rotor 23 August 2013 14: 09
    With anti-satellite weapons, almost the entire WTO can be turned into trash. Therefore, satellites must have a security system.
  8. denson06
    denson06 23 August 2013 16: 01
    This is a very delicate, high-tech and expensive topic .. and judging by the fact that Vostochny is being built, ours are not going to miss it .. and well done that they think so ..
  9. Sobol
    Sobol 23 August 2013 19: 16
    And do we have anything from this (satellite stunning)?
    1. shiyanov.denis
      shiyanov.denis 24 August 2013 03: 26
      Yes, there seems to be, "RADIOLOCATION" disables electronics, but they are afraid to use it, because the results are not verified. Radio fight, the most untested weapon.
  10. Metlik
    Metlik 23 August 2013 20: 36
    Whether we like it or not, war in space is inevitable.
  11. studentmati
    studentmati 23 August 2013 23: 20
    The most effective weapon of the Russian armed forces in outer space can be dozens of rockets with several tons of damaging elements in the form of nails and balls, relatively speaking. Undermining such a rocket at a given point in the orbit will nullify all the multi-billion dollar efforts of the adversary.
    1. Alex 241
      Alex 241 23 August 2013 23: 21
      Hi Sasha, a double-edged sword, all this garbage will then interfere with us.
      1. studentmati
        studentmati 23 August 2013 23: 25
        Quote: Alex 241
        Hi Sasha, a double-edged sword, all this garbage will then interfere with us.

        Hi Sash. I mean, first of all, Armageddon. I am amazed, from the "technical point of view" of the X-37B, and horrified from the point of view of our lagging behind. Hence the reasoning about "nails and balls".
  12. Alex 241
    Alex 241 23 August 2013 23: 28
    Sasha, I think this bast shoe needs to arrange an "armagide" on the ground, or during the launch, so as not to chase him in orbit.
    1. studentmati
      studentmati 23 August 2013 23: 31
      Quote: Alex 241
      Sasha, I think this bast shoe needs to arrange an "armagide" on the ground, or during the launch, so as not to chase him in orbit.

      I would like to believe that for this there is still the minds and, most importantly, political will.
  13. Ivan Tarasov
    Ivan Tarasov 24 August 2013 00: 21
    The militarization of space can no longer be stopped.
    Without domination in space, victory in a future war is impossible.
    It is necessary to prepare for war in advance, build cosmodromes, space rocket systems, orbital platforms.
    Otherwise, defeat, in any situation.
    1. studentmati
      studentmati 24 August 2013 00: 29
      Quote: Ivan Tarasov
      Without domination in space, victory in a future war is impossible.

      It seems to me that times have changed 25 years ago. Victory is not for quantitative and technical superiority. The victory is for theorists and mathematicians who accurately calculate the moves.
  14. scientist
    scientist 24 August 2013 07: 04
    If the weapons will be launched into space, they will stupidly shoot them down. No country would agree that nuclear bombs or laser guns would fly overhead. In this case, near-Earth outer space should be considered the same as air.
    1. Sobol
      Sobol 24 August 2013 17: 08
      Well, if they hang out in low orbits - these have learned to shoot down. And if bombs and guns are suspended in high orbit - how to shoot them down? And generally speaking! It is necessary to get our, still Soviet program "Spiral" from the archives, complete it based on modern technologies and start serial production, and then we'll see what kind of heh this he-37b
  15. scientist
    scientist 25 August 2013 11: 58
    The main problem when shooting down in high orbits is the identification of a space object as a weapon. After all, it is not written on it that it is a bomb. And even a light rocket can launch a small charge at the satellite’s standing point with damaging elements. The problem is that the damaging elements themselves must somehow be destroyed some time after the blast, otherwise their satellites can be hooked.