US Space Command said Russia has recently tested a space-based anti-satellite weapon, stoking fears that the former cold war enemies were preparing to extend their rivalry to a new front.
A Russian satellite called Cosmos 2543, which was this year caught trailing a US spy satellite, released a projectile into orbit last Wednesday, according to America’s new space command chief.
“This is further evidence of Russia’s continuing efforts to develop and test space-based systems, and consistent with the Kremlin’s published military doctrine to employ weapons that hold US and allied space assets at risk,” General John W Raymond, head of US Space Command, said on Thursday.
The Kremlin did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Financial Times. On Thursday, US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin discussed the urgent need to consult on “strategic stability and arms control”, according to a Russian readout of their call, which Moscow said was “constructive and informative”.
The US now treats space as another theatre of war, similar to land, sea or air and simulations of large-scale conflict show battles extending into space.
“Space is now a distinct war fighting domain,” according to the new US defence space strategy, released in summary last month, which said Beijing and Moscow presented the greatest strategic threat.
“China and Russia each have weaponised space as a means to reduce US and allied military