US plans to use space for military purposes may be as harmful to international security as the nuclear arms race was, Russia’s Foreign Ministry has warned, calling on the White House to “show common sense.”
US plans to develop persistent, space-based sensor architecture by the end of 2022 are yet another step towards what Washington calls “the US domination in space,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in statement on Friday.
The comments came in response to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019, which was passed by the US House of Representatives on Thursday. Among other things, it envisions the deployment of special sensors as part of a space-based US missile defense system.
Naval vessels from the US, Canada, Chile, Peru and France take part in RIMPAC 2018 drills, June 2018 © Spec. Steven Robles, US Navy Threats, conditions & loopholes: $716bn NDAA takes on Turkey, China and India
Moscow has slammed the American military space program as “adventurism” that may have “the most negative impact on the state of international security.”
“Russia prioritizes the use and exploration of space only for peaceful purposes” and “straight-thinking forces in all the countries support us in this,” the ministry said.
In recent years, Moscow was behind a series of initiatives aimed at preventing an arms race in space, including a draft Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space and the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects (PPWT), proposed together with China in 2014.
Moscow called upon the Trump administration “to show common sense and don’t repeat the mistakes of the past” by giving up the steps that could damage the international security.
The NDAA is expected to be passed by the Senate next week. In addition to the space sensors, the document requires the Pentagon to develop a “space warfighting policy” by the end of March next year and come up with a report on the state of US space capabilities.
Boost-phase missile defense capability, using drones and “kinetic interceptors,” will also be part of research to be completed by the country’s military by December 2021.
In June, President Donald Trump ordered the creation of the US Space Force, saying that it’s going to be “something so important.”