PENTAGON STARTS SPACE WAR TRAINING

sbl.jpgJust in case you were wondering whether or not the Pentagon was really serious about knocking other countries' satellites out of orbit, comes this item from C4ISR Journal. The Defense Department, it seems, has "launched a series of exercises designed to sharpen its understanding and management of counter-satellite operations."The three-year Joint Space Control Operations-Negation (JSCO-N) program will help the Pentagon figure out which satellite-killers to buy, and determine which procedures to follow when knocking the orbiters out.According to a report from the Pentagon's testing and evaluation office, the Defense Department wants to "target an adversary's space capability by using a variety of permanent and/or reversible means to achieve five possible effects: deception, disruption, denial, degradation and destruction...""The JSCO-N effort includes three 'field tests,'" C4ISR Journal's Jeremy Singer notes. "The first of those, Terminal Fury 05, was scheduled to take place in December, according to the report. It was to be followed by Terminal Fury 06 and Unified Endeavor 06."Not surprisingly, the Pentagon refused to give details on the exercises. But, as Singer observes, "the Air Force has for at least the past few years been working on systems for neutralizing enemy satellite capabilities. The service announced in October 2004 that one such system, designed to disrupt satellite radio-transmissions, is now being fielded." In 2003, the Air Force released its "Transformation Flight Plan," which spelled out a number of anti-orbiter weapons, including "ground-based lasers, air-launched missiles and space-based radio frequency transmitters capable of disrupting or destroying other satellites."THERE'S MORE: On the other hand, Defense Daily has this...

Weapons in Space? Not this year, it seems, or a least not part of the Missile Defense Agencys budget. The Missile Defense Agency is not funding any new space-based programs in the FY 06 defense-spending request, although the controversial Near Field Infrared Experiment, NFIRE, remains in the budget. Space-based is not part of this budget, says a senior Pentagon official. The debate on whether to develop a space-based capability has not yet taken place, according to the official. Another thing you wont see is a follow-on on to Russian American Observational Satellite program, or RAMOS, which was defunded in the FY 05 budget.
AND MORE: "It is true that the space-based test bed was delayed by two years, but that decision is accompanied with an increase in classified funding for futuristic missile defense programs from $ 160 M to $ 350 M," the Arms Control Wonk notes. "That's a lot of secret money."
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