The report of the US Department of Defense alarmed Indian security establishment, because it warns of the fact that China is destroying other countries’ satellites and accumulating nuclear submarines in the Indian Ocean.
This annual report was published on May 8, and it mentions a mysterious object launched into space by Beijing, on a ballistic trajectory with an altitude above 30,000 km.
This trajectory passed near geosynchronous orbit, where many nations have their communication satellites. The unidentified object returned into the Earth’s orbit 9.5 hours after launching. The US report doesn’t state what kind of object was launched, but says: “The launch profile does not match the traditional space-launch vehicles, ballistic missiles or rockets with a scientific purpose. However, it could have been a test of technologies with a counter-space mission”.
“China keeps developing its capabilities designed to limit or prevent its enemies to use space resources, including the development of direct-energy weapons and satellite jammers”, alerts the US report. The US expressed concern because China continues developing destructive space technologies that threaten peace-minded nations.
India, at the moment, has 27 satellites in space. At least 11 of them are used for communication, television, etc. Among them is one domestic military satellite, called GSAT-7, which covers 70% of the Indian Ocean and which is controlled by an advanced communication facility.
The US report states that this is the first time China has positioned its submarines in the Indian Ocean, including even one nuclear submarine (SSN). “Submarines are probably exploring the area, demonstrating the capability of protecting China’s sea lines of communication and rising China’s power projection into the Indian Ocean”, the report says.
India is taking over the leading role in the Indian Ocean, so it sees the Chinese raid as a challenge. New Delhi has 14 submarines in total, including one nuclear submarine rented from Russia. It is called ISN Chakra and it doesn’t carry nuclear warheads. The report says that China has 69 submarines.
China keeps producing JIN SSBN (type 094) with JL-2 (Julang-2) submarine ballistic missiles with the range of 7,400 km. The report states that during 2015, China will conduct its first defense patrol against nuclear attack.
In naval speech, “defense patrol” refers to a submarine that is ready to attack a couple of seconds after the nuclear attack of the enemy. In the military, nuclear submarine is considered to be one of the most powerful platforms for responding to a nuclear attack.
The US repot on China’s nuclear weapons stated that the new generation of mobile MIRV missiles will ensure strategic attack prevention. “Indian nuclear power is an additional driver of nuclear modernization of China”, the report says.
Targeted space assets
Satellite communication of potential enemies can be blocked using radio frequencies. The US has and develops technology for locating such jammers set up by other countries.
These measures mean degradation, disruption and destruction of enemy’s space capabilities, as needed. Space prohibition allows immediate tracking and precise identification of space communications from the ground or space platform. This could be combined with antisatellite weapons together with the attack against space capabilities of others.