China Conducts Anti-Satellite Tests With Laser Weaponry

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China has conducted two anti-satellite tests very recently, using its advanced laser technology.  This was done during a recent exercise of the Peoples Liberation Army. The anti-satellite exercises were conducted using laser weapons. This was disclosed by Konstantin Sivkov, deputy head of the Moscow-based Think Tank, Academy of Geopolitical Problems, in an interview to Voice of Russia. 

According to Sivkov, it is strategically crucial for China to destroy enemy satellites to survive any assault. If the satellites are targeted at the beginning of a conflict, it will give a tactical advantage. Suppose, if hostilities break out with the U.S, if China can shoot down the U.S satellites, PLA will be capable of blinding American forces in the air, ground and water, reported WantChina Times.  China conducted its first anti-satellite weapon test in 2007, and since then the U.S satellites had been reportedly getting disturbed in their orbit, said reports in the Defense News.

Damaging To Space 

According to a report in the National Defense magazine, the anti-satellite weapons being tested by China will be damaging to the space. The main damages from an anti-satellite missile include: destruction of the target and creating a massive ripple effect and debris from the collision that will strike other satellites. With its 2007 test, China created a large debris field, said Gen. William Shelton, who is an Air Force Space Commander. Charles Miller, president of NextGen Space LLC also noted that continued testing of weapons that will reach farther in the space, would threaten key satellites in the geosynchronous orbit.

Anti-Drone Exercise

During that exercise PLA also tested its laser weapons against tanks and drones. The China Academy of Engineering Physics' has already developed an indigenous low-altitude air defense system to intercept aircraft flying below 500 meters.

Yi Jinsong of the China Academy of Engineering Physics told Sina Military Network that drones are a threat as it can be used by terrorists against the Chinese homeland. Meanwhile, the US government sources told the Defense News that the U.S will keep quiet for the time being, regarding the anti-satellite tests, and it values Beijing's role as an important trade partner. At the same time, the U.S. will work with China to seek a peaceful solution to the problems in the Korean peninsula.

Realising the wider scope and potential of lasers in destroying advanced weapon systems, including aircraft carriers, China has been investing heavily in the development of such weaponry in the past few decades.