KEY POINTS

  • The U.S. Space Force has a weapon system that can jam satellites
  • It is the agency's first offensive weapon system
  • A report identified China and Russia as potential threats

In a move towards protecting the country during a space-based conflict, the U.S. Space Force has unveiled a new weapon system that is capable of blocking the satellites of hostile forces. In a previous report, the U.S. identified Russia and China as potential threats to the country's presence in space.

The U.S. Space Force’s recently confirmed that it already has 16 units of its new ground-based offensive weapon system. The agency also reported that it has already started working on the system’s successor, which is known as Meadowland.

The U.S. Space Force’s latest weapon system is the Counter Communications System Block 10.2. Basically, the system works by targeting enemy satellites in order to block their communication capabilities. It can be used to disrupt the enemy’s information flow and prevent it from coordinating military units.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Brogan, an official for the U.S. Space Force, the Counter Communications System Block 10.2 marks the first offensive weapon for the agency.

“Nothing else we're doing in Space Force is offensive in nature, where we are actually going after an adversary,” he said, according to Bloomberg.

Recently, 16 new units of the system were delivered by the U.S. Space Force’s partner L3Harris Technologies, a tech firm and defense contractor based in Florida. Aside from these units, the agency expects to receive four new models of the system sometime in October 2022.

Compared to their predecessor, the newer models will have the capability to jam more satellite frequencies. They will also be lightweight, which means they can be easily deployed in various locations.

The U.S.’ goal of establishing a military presence in space was made in response to the growing threat posed by other countries. In a report released in January, the Defense Intelligence Agency warned that Russia and China have satellite networks that are capable of spying on U.S. from space.

“Chinese and Russian space surveillance networks are capable of searching, tracking, and characterizing satellites in all earth orbits,” the agency stated according to Newsweek. “

“This capability supports space operations and counterspace systems,” the agency continued. “Both states [have] jamming and cyberspace capabilities, directed energy weapons, on-orbit capabilities and ground-based anti-satellite missiles that can achieve a range of reversible to non-reversible effects.”

Image courtesy US Air Force shows the new logo for the United States Space Force, founded 20 December 2019, which was revealed by US President Donald Trump on January 24, 2020 Image courtesy US Air Force shows the new logo for the United States Space Force, founded 20 December 2019, which was revealed by US President Donald Trump on January 24, 2020 Photo: US AIR FORCE / HO