The United States has accused Russia at the United Nations of developing a range of anti satellite (ASAT) weapons, to include air-launched missiles, lasers, and satellites capable of rendezvousing with their targets in orbit, despite Moscow’s attempts to introduce a proposed treaty that would ban such weapons,spacewatch global reported on Monday.
“The United States is concerned with what appears as very abnormal behavior by this so-called ‘space apparatus inspector,” cautioned Yleem Poblete, assistant secretary for arms control, verification, and compliance, in remarks at the UN last week. “We do not know for certain what it is and there is no way to verify its mission. Moreover, Russian intentions with respect to this satellite are unclear.”
Poblete believes this amounts to a “troubling development—particularly, when considered in concert with statements by Russia’s Space Troops Commander which highlighted that ‘assimilat[ing] new prototypes of weapons [into] Space Forces’ military units’ is a ‘main task facing the Aerospace Forces Space Troops,'” according to a report in The Washington Free Beacon.
Poblete is also concerned with statements from senior Russian military officials which indicate Russia’s Space Troops have taken delivery of a “combat laser system.”
“Further, Russia claims to be developing missiles that can be launched from an aircraft mid-flight to destroy American satellites. To the United States, these developments are yet further proof that Russian military actions do not match their diplomatic rhetoric,” she continued.