US and UK claim that Russia fired a weapon from a satellite
Image Credit: NASA VIA AP
Both United States and United Kingdom have accused Russia of firing a missile -like projectile from the satellite Cosmos 2543 on 15th July. UK officials said that Russia threatens the ‘peaceful use of space’, because of the satellite test. It is the first time that UK has criticized Russia about a satellite weapon.
United States have already warned about the Russian satellite. The Air Vice Marshal of the UK’s space directorate, Harvey Smyth, said, ‘Actions like this threaten the peaceful use of space and risk causing debris that could pose a threat to satellites and the space systems on which the world depends.’
‘We call on Russia to avoid any further such testing. We also urge Russia to continue to work constructively with the UK and other partners to encourage responsible behavior in space.’
General Jay Raymond, US Space Force Chief of space operations said, ‘The Russian satellite system used to conduct this on-orbit weapons test is the same satellite system that we raised concerns about earlier this year, when Russia maneuvered near a US government satellite.’
‘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 the US and allied space assets at risk.’
Russia was also accused by the United States of testing an anti-satellite missile in April. The increase of accidents of this sort with Russia and also China, forced the United States to start a military branch, focused solely on space. The result is the creation of the Space Force. Only four countries have shown that they possess anti-satellite missiles. These are the United States, Russia, China and India.
Christopher Ford, a US assistant secretary of state, said that, ‘This event highlights Russia’s hypocritical advocacy of outer space arms control, with which Moscow aims to restrict the capabilities of the United States while clearly having no intention of halting its own counterspace program – both ground based anti-satellite capabilities and what would appear to be actual in-orbit anti-satellite weaponry.’
So far, there is no treaty that bans the use of anti-satellite missiles, but there were some countries that want an agreement to deal with this issue.