Future military satellites will offer arrays of sensors and weapons for future hypersonic missile defenses

Feb. 11, 2022
Military satellites in the future may be able to sport mounted weaponry to engage enemy satellites, such as lasers and neutral particle beams.

WASHINGTON – China, Russia and the United States all are revisiting space-based missile defense and anti-satellite weapons to counter rapidly developing and proliferating hypersonic missiles, a great power contest that promises to accelerate the militarization of outer space. Asia Times reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

11 Feb. 2022 -- Space-based systems add another layer to existing missile defenses and most likely would focus on intercepting missiles during the early stages of their powered boost phase. This increases the chance of intercepts compared to mid-course and terminal intercepts where missiles could perform evasive maneuvers at hypersonic speeds.

Armed satellites can attack enemy satellites in several ways, including through physical attacks, directed energy or conventional weapons, electronic warfare, chemical sprays or even direct collision.

In January, China’s Shijian-21 satellite used a robotic arm to pull a dead Beidou satellite out of its normal geosynchronous orbit and place it into a distant graveyard orbit designated for satellites nearing the end of their operational lives.

Related: Northrop Grumman to develop missile-defense prototype satellite sensor to detect, track hypersonic missiles

Related: Enabling technologies falling into place for a revolution in space-based sensors and fast 5G networking

Related: Northrop Grumman completes hypersonic and ballistic tracking space sensor critical design review

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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