A new front: NATO goes into space

One of the central issues of the summit of the North Atlantic Alliance in Great Britain was the action in outer space.

Source: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

One of the central issues of the summit of the North Atlantic Alliance in Great Britain was the action in outer space. Following the results of the second day of meetings, the alliance declared space the front of NATO operations.


Subscribe to Defenseweek channels in Google News or Flipboard. Available for App Store and Google Play!

Leaders of NATO countries following a meeting in the UK declared space the front of their military operations.

“We declared outer space the operational sphere of NATO, recognizing its importance for ensuring our security and countering security challenges while observing international law,” the summit said in a statement.

The document, in particular, notes that allegedly “Russia’s aggressive actions constitute a threat to Euro-Atlantic security.”

At the same time, Russia opposes the militarization of outer space, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a meeting on military issues. Although in the current conditions it is necessary to pay attention to strengthening the orbital group, the head of state believes.

“Russia has always consistently opposed and is opposed to the militarization of outer space. At the same time, the development of the situation requires us to pay greater attention to strengthening the orbital group, as well as the space and rocket industry as a whole, ”RIA Novosti quoted him as saying.

It is worth noting that more and more states are considering near-Earth outer space as a potential arena for future armed conflicts. Therefore, the national governments of many countries are developing their own tools and methods for dealing with opponents in orbit.

The most compelling demonstration of outer space as an upcoming battlefield was the recent creation of Space Forces in the United States. Back in March 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that Space Forces should become the equivalent of the U.S. Army, Air Force, and Navy in near-Earth space.

In November this year, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced that the foreign ministers of the Alliance member countries recognized space as a separate space along with land, as well as air, sea and cyberspace. Space “is necessary for protection and deterrent measures on the part of the alliance,” Stoltenberg said then. At the same time, NATO will not deploy its own weapons in outer space.

In June, NATO developed its first space strategy. First of all, the alliance intends to protect satellites, which are important for communications during missions, for navigation, for early warning systems about missile launches and for reporting on the situation in conflict zones. NATO leaders are concerned that countries such as China and Russia are exploring options for limiting and destroying satellites.

Jens Stoltenberg noted that approximately 2 thousand satellites are currently orbiting the earth. About half belong to NATO countries. “Satellites can be blocked by radio signals, hacked or equipped with weapons,” said Stoltenberg.

“Anti-satellite weapons can destroy communications and other services that society relies on, such as air traffic, weather forecasts, or the banking sector,” added the NATO Secretary General. He also said that, in particular, the United States and France are at the stage of development of space weapons. Earlier, Russia, China and India announced the expansion of their space capabilities.

And, as “Gazeta.Ru” has already written, the United States is seriously considering various options to counter possible aggression in space.

For example, the failure or destruction of the global positioning system (GPS) can affect not only the course and outcome of the armed struggle – as a result of disruption of digital communications, complete chaos will reign on entire continents: cell phones will turn off, power distribution systems will stop working, and they will stop functioning most of the global financial network, including bank and vending machines.

US experts warn that a large-scale and effective attack on the GPS infrastructure will jeopardize maritime trade and civil aviation, which use GPS for navigation.

In other words, the mere termination of the global positioning system means a disaster for the post-industrial world. And there are communication satellites, weather forecasting spacecraft, missile attack warning systems.

The failure of this part of the orbital group can also have fatal consequences. Therefore, the US national strategy considers space as the same battlefield as land, air or sea.

Most likely, already in the not too distant future, flotillas of orbital planes, created on the basis of the experimental X-37B, will wage an armed struggle in space. They can be equipped with small-caliber high-speed guns, which in space conditions are able to effectively hit spacecraft at long ranges. It is entirely possible that guided missile weapons and weapons based on new physical principles will be installed on future space fighters.

Thus, the primary goal for future US aerospace squadrons is to defeat United States adversary orbital groups. In future wars, dominance in space will mean victory on Earth, experts are convinced.

“With regard to the NATO statement on the non-deployment of its own weapons in outer space, it cannot be ruled out that, having taken the first step – to recognize outer space as a separate space along with land, as well as air, sea and cyberspace, the North Atlantic Alliance will also make the second – into outer space space combat platforms with the means of destruction deployed on them,” said Lt. Gen. Valery Zaparenko, former deputy chief of the Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff of the RF Armed Forces.

“As a conclusion, only one thing can be said – the militarization of outer space is inevitable, no matter how some politicians and scientists would not oppose this. This matter has been resolved,” Zaparenko said earlier.

Comments are closed.