Air Force launches new space war effort — Defense Systems

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Air Force launches new space war effort

The Air Force is intensifying preparations and strategies to be ready for the prospect of war in space.

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson announced the formation of a new deputy chief of staff for space operations, a three-star general officer tasked with sharpening the focus on preparing the U.S. for space attacks.

“This is the next step in our effort to integrate, normalize and elevate space operations in the Air Force,” Wilson said. “The United States is dependent upon space and our adversaries know it. We must organize and train forces to prevail in any future conflict which could extend into space.”

GPS-guided Joint Direct Attack Munitions, or JDAMs, rely upon satellite technology to hit targets, as do small, hand-held navigational force tracking systems for dismounted soldiers on the move in combat.

The Air Force Secretary has also said the service needs to acquire new space technologies more quickly to ensure U.S. dominance in space as the domain rapidly becomes more contested.

The idea, naturally, is to prepare the U.S. Space enterprise for a threatening, high-risk contested environment wherein anti-satellite (ASA) weapons proliferate around the globe.

The Air Force is investing $5.5 billion over the next five years as part of this effort.

While several countries are known to be making investments in the development of space weaponry, Chinese activities have engendered particular concern among Pentagon leaders, analysts and threat assessment professionals.

The Chinese fired a land-based kinetic energy SC-19 missile at a satellite several years ago, an action that inspired worldwide attention and condemnation. Pentagon officials say the Chinese program is very advanced.

As long ago as 2007, they…

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