US Space Force unveils counter comms system to “disable enemy satellites”
The US Space Force – launched by Donald Trump in late 2019 – has unveiled its first offensive weapon: a counter communications system (CCS) it says can “disable enemy satellites” from the ground.
The CCS B10.2 “satellite jammer” can prevent access to military satellites, allowing the Force to “neutralise orbiting satellites in a matter of minutes”. It achieved Initial Operating Capability earlier this month and builds on the capabilities of earlier CCS developments.
The satellite jammer was first deployed in 2004 after “hostile nations” reportedly tried to block American satellite communications. An upgraded version, CCS Block 10.1, was developed in 2014.
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“The [new] CCS includes additional frequency bands and other features, with more options to disrupt enemies’ satellite communications, and can be updated with agile software development methods,” said Col. Stephen Purdy, SMC special programs director.
“CCS B10.2 represents the end of the traditional way of development…Future upgrades and enhancements will make use of SMC’s Agile DevSecOps [Development, Security and Operations] approach adapting to the evolving battlefield while delivering capabilities to the warfighter faster and better than our opponents,” Purdy added.
An official branch of the US Military, the Space Force in February requested US$15 billion for operations and maintenance, R&D and procurement.
On the third point alone, the Space Force wants to spend $1 billion on three national security launches, including those for the final two Space Based Infrared System satellites. It also requested $628 million for two next-generation GPS III satellites.
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