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"Is It Time for 'Space Arms Control'?" Topic

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277 hits since 10 Dec 2018
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP10 Dec 2018 3:17 p.m. PST

"There is no question that arms control helps our military strategy to counter nuclear and conventional threats. The question now is how to tailor arms control measures to counter the specific novel threats that will inevitably arise from robotic spacecraft. These threats will be with us by the early 2020s and forever thereafter.

China, Russia, the United States, European Union and other countries will deploy robotic servicing spacecraft to remove space debris or to refuel, repair or upgrade satellites already in orbit. These supposedly peaceful robotic spacecraft from China and Russia can be readily re-tasked in space to threaten and disable our critical satellites…."
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skippy0001 Supporting Member of TMP10 Dec 2018 4:18 p.m. PST


I want my Gyrojet Carbines, Rapid Pulse Lasers, ZF-1, M41 Pulse Rifles, Kinetic Kill Missiles and Semi-Active Doctrine Homing Interociter Command Fougasse Missile.

Immediately, if not sooner.

JMcCarroll Supporting Member of TMP10 Dec 2018 4:39 p.m. PST

How to the arms race work out for the Soviets last time?
Yes I know it's the Chinese this time.

StarCruiser10 Dec 2018 5:20 p.m. PST

I'm waiting for the "Phaser-Photon Torpedo Weapon o' Mass Destruction"…

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP10 Dec 2018 7:35 p.m. PST

Well, they cheat, so why enter into an agreement knowing they'll do that?

Soaring Soren10 Dec 2018 8:29 p.m. PST

The US has had weapons in space for a long time. We're just not supposed to know about them.

Lion in the Stars10 Dec 2018 10:29 p.m. PST

There are two separate outer space weapon treaties already in play. One bans Fractional-Orbital-Bombardment-Systems (FOBS), which would let the US (or Russians) attack over the South Pole. The other one bans nuclear weapons in space at all.

Kinetics are not banned, though most kinetic launchers look way too much like a nuclear launch to be considered.

Personal logo 28mm Fanatik Supporting Member of TMP11 Dec 2018 8:57 a.m. PST

The major powers have been covertly developing anti-satellite capabilities for decades. During the CW the then-USSR had killer satellites and the US had ASAT missiles launched by F-15's. Now these types of weapons are less obvious because they have "dual use" for non-military purposes.

It wouldn't surprise me the least bit if the major powers have some kind of capability to take out each other's satellites in the next war, not just precision weapon-guiding satellites like GPS, GLONASS and Beidou but communications and surveillance satellites.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP11 Dec 2018 11:28 a.m. PST



Lion in the Stars11 Dec 2018 12:19 p.m. PST

I could see a potential for a 'Kessler Cascade' prevention treaty, where weapons designed to destroy satellites are prohibited from making too many fragments. It's a collateral-damage mitigation treaty, which probably wouldn't be too hard to sell to the Russians (their big SS-9s can do a pop-down attack, where the ASAT is in a higher orbit than the target satellite then drops down into the target's orbit, and put most of the fragments straight into the atmosphere). I think the Chinese are in the same boat.

The harder sell would actually be the US, as our THAAD and SM3s don't have the legs to do that pop-down. We'd have to build a dedicated heavy ASAT instead of the relatively light SM3.

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