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  • Satellite Evolution

Russia’s anti-satellite test to increase military spending in on-orbit services, says GlobalData

Following the news that Russia successfully tested an anti-satellite missile test (ASAT) and launched a cloud of debris; Madeline Wild, Associate Defense Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view: “Russia’s successful use of an ASAT weapon to destroy a domestic satellite shows us just how important space-based technology will be, and why governments need to keep investing. In-orbit repair and space-debris management are just two of the essential capabilities in which the world needs to progress in the years ahead if we are to stop more space junk from littering our skies.

“Any growth in the use and ASAT capability will undoubtedly boost spending in technologies that can defend satellites and respond to the potential damage that incidences such as this can cause. Thus, industry players should expect potential opportunities in these areas. Investment and research into *space debris regulation, ASATs, and on-orbit remote are likely to become increasingly important thanks to Russia’s recent satellite destruction.

“Earlier this year, NATO added space as the fifth domain to its charter, meaning that any attack on a NATO member in space would trigger **Article 5, causing the intervention of member states. This was a key marker of the increasing importance of space as a military domain, however, Russia’s ASAT test outlines how immediate the need to develop military space systems is and thus will likely spark increased spending in the field.

“Investment will likely focus on ground-based satellite disruption tactics, which have the potential to disrupt and destroy adversaries satellite communication (SATCOM) systems. In March 2020, the US Space Force began operating a ground-based SATCOM jammer; this technology allows the US to block SATCOM from adversaries’ satellites.

“Directed energy weapons, jammers and cyber interventions such as seizing control of a satellite, data monitoring and data corruption, are alternatives to ASATs that may offer large opportunities to defense companies. Any disruption to satellites has the potential to be, if not devastating, then at least extremely disruptive in both the military and civil arenas.”


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