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Anti-Satellite Weapon

Anti-Satellite Weapon:

Russia is actively working towards a formidable new development in space technology, focusing on creating a nuclear anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon.

  • Anti-Satellite Weapon is designed to debilitate or destroy satellites that are already in orbit and operational.
  • Types of Anti-Satellite Weapons: ASATs are broadly classified into two types namely
    • Kinetic energy methods: This involves launching a missile that intercepts and physically collides with the target satellite to destroy it. The kinetic energy ASATs physically collide with satellites and can reach altitudes. These ASATs can be ballistic missiles, drones, and other satellites.
    • Non-kinetic methods: They use non-physical attacks such as cyber-attacks, jamming, and even lasers to blind satellites without physically destroying them.
  • All of these attacks can be launched from the air, low orbit, or even ground installations.
  • These can even undertake pellet cloud attacks on the enemy’s low-orbit satellites.
  • Other ASAT capabilities include cyber-attacks on space systems, Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) explosion devices, directed energy (laser-based) weapons and targeted missiles for the destruction of satellites to sabotage the enemy’s military operations.
  • There are many countries which have this capability, but only four countries including India have demonstrated their ASAT capabilities.