U.S. Space Force Is Building Weapons to Block Russian and Chinese Satellites

The U.S. Space Force is reportedly building a stockpile of new weapons systems that are capable of jamming communications satellite signals during orbital conflict.

The agency, the newest branch of the American military, confirmed in March it's new offensive weapon—the Counter Communications System Block 10.2—was operational after a year-long testing period. Developed in partnership with L3Harris Technologies, the tech was described as a "transportable space electronic warfare system that reversibly denies adversary satellite communications."

Now the agency, a division within the Air Force, has said 16 units of that system have since been delivered, and work has now begun on the next model.

Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Brogan, a unit head involved with procurement for the Space Force, told Bloomberg in an interview that the successor is known as "Meadowland."

"Nothing else we're doing in Space Force is offensive in nature, where we are actually going after an adversary," Lt. Brogan said, adding that four newer models are projected to be delivered in October 2022. They will have the ability to jam more frequencies and will be lighter in weight, he said.

The military official told Bloomberg the ground-based jamming weapons are made to be used early in conflict and said the interference they produce is both "reversible" and temporary.

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) warned back in January last year that China and Russia both consider space to be "important to modern warfare" and said the U.S. should be prepared.

It elaborated in a research paper: "Chinese and Russian space surveillance networks are capable of searching, tracking, and characterizing satellites in all earth orbits.

"This capability supports space operations and counterspace systems. Both states [have] jamming and cyberspace capabilities, directed energy weapons, on orbit capabilities and ground-based anti satellite missiles that can achieve a range of reversible to non-reversible effects."

The potential threat posed by Russia, in particular, spiked this week after the country conducted a test of a missile system that has the capability of destroying satellites in low Earth orbit.

Gen. John W. Raymond, U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations, said it was "proof of Russia's hypocritical advocacy of outer space arms control proposals designed to restrict the capabilities of the U.S. while clearly having no intention of halting their counter-space weapons programs."

The general added: "The demands on space systems continue in this time of crisis where global logistics, transportation and communication are key to defeating the COVID-19 pandemic."

Last December, president Donald Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act 2020 into law, giving $738 billion in defense funding for agencies, including the Space Force.

"That is something really incredible. It's a big moment. That's a big moment, and we're all here for it. Space. Going to be a lot of things happening in space," he said from Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. "Amid grave threats to our national security, American superiority in space is absolutely vital. And we're leading, but we're not leading by enough. But very shortly, we'll be leading by a lot," he added.

Space Force
Airmen from the 4th Space Control Squadron take a picture in front of the Counter Communications System Block 10.2 on March 12 on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. The 4th SPCS received the B10.2 from the Space and Missile Systems Center on Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. The B10.2 is a transportable space electronic warfare system that reversibly denies adversary satellite communications. Airman 1st Class Andrew Bertain/U.S. Air Force