Suspected Chinese ASAT Weapon a Threat for GPS?
The U.S. Senate held a hearing on 12 March 2014 on possible threats posed by recent Chinese efforts to apparently develop a new anti-satellite (ASAT) . Already the November 2013 U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission had raised concerns about China’s new missile developments. According to Gen. William Shelton, head of Air Force Space Command (AFSC), the recent Chinese test “would signal China’s intent to develop an ASAT capability to target satellites in an altitude range that includes U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) and many U.S. military and intelligence satellites”. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy Douglas Loverro added that U.S. national policy regards U.S. space assets as sovereign assets and therefore any attack on them would be considered an attack that needs to be defended, particularly since U.S. space assets are viewed as critical to U.S. national security.
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