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Russian Space Weaponry Update

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  • Russian Space Weaponry Update

    The Russians have, for some time, tried to get the major powers to agree to banning all weaponry from space. Uncharitable individuals might attribute this to the fact that they were behind in research and development of such systems, despite having access to Soviet Cold War-era preliminary work. In any case the U.S. has rejected any such ban.

    About eighteen months ago General Valentin Popovkin, a Russian deputy defense minister, announced they were going ahead with development and acquisition of an anti-satellite missile. The announcement appeared to be a diplomatic response to deployment of U.S. anti-missile missiles in eastern Europe, but work on the original anti-satellite weaponry has never really ended and was tied in to the ABM system the Soviets experimented with. Here is a link to a good summary of the work, along with progress and some nice artist renderings of the orbital interceptors.

    More recently, the Russian spacecraft producer Energa has floated a conceptual design for a military satellite in the 20-ton range with an orbital life of 10-15 years and powered by a small nuclear reactor. It would have all the normal capabilities you would expect: “monitor territories and airspace, provide informational superiority including in armed conflicts and perform target designation and traffic control.” Of special interest, however, is the tantalizing statement that it will also have an offensive capability. What sort, and whether it is aimed at orbital control or a more ambitious capability, is unclear.


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    Interesting. If it mounts a nuclear reactor, it may have enough power to carry a High Energy Laser or Rai/Coil Gun. Something i'm sure the Russians would keep top secret.
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