The US rivalry with Russia and China has taken a new turn, and it has spilled over into the outer space. General David Thompson, the US Space Force's First Vice Chief (of Space Operations), has claimed that Russia and China have started attacking US satellites with lasers and jammers. According to the senior US official, the American scientists will face more troubles in near future, as China is all set to become a dominant space power in the next 10 years.
Talking to the media, General Thompson stressed: "The threats are really growing and expanding every single day. And it's really an evolution of activity that's been happening for a long time." He added: "We're really at a point now where there's a whole host of ways that our space systems can be threatened."
He claimed that the Russia and China were attacking the US satellites with non-kinetic tools, like lasers, radio frequency jammers, and cyber-attacks. Meanwhile, General Thompson made it clear that the US was fully prepared to tackle reversible attacks on satellites, which were yet to damage the craft permanently.
Reports suggest that Beijing has started manufacturing its own version of GPS, and several intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance satellites. The number of satellites, launched by the Asian Powerhouse, is twice that of the US. Commenting on the issue, General Thompson said: "The Chinese are actually well ahead (of Russia). They are fielding operational systems at an incredible rate." However, he claimed that the US satellites were still the best in the world, as far as their capability was concerned. The US "should be concerned by the end of this decade, if we don't adapt", added General Thompson.
Meanwhile, the Biden Administration in Washington is trying hard to convince the Communist Party of China (CPC) to set up international norms for cyberspace and space. However, Beijing is not ready for negotiation in this regard. The Roscosmos, a state corporation of the Russian Federation responsible for space flights, cosmonautics programs, and aerospace research, and the China National Space Administration are yet to respond to the US' request.
Earlier, the United States Space Command claimed that Russia had "conducted a non-destructive test of a space-based anti-satellite weapon" in July and December 2020. China, too, is developing missiles and electronic weapons for targeting high- and low-orbiting satellites. As a counter measure, the US has decided to unveil its own space weapon that could degrade or destroy foreign satellites or spacecraft.
Experts have expressed serious concern over the development, saying that the usage of kinetic weapons against satellites would certainly worsen the amount of space debris, and could cause a serious trouble for humanity on the Earth in the coming days.