The United States Space Force is building an arsenal of as many as 48 ground-based weapons, which would be delivered over the next seven years, designed to temporarily jam Russian or Chinese communications satellite signals, international media reports. The first system made by Florida based technology company, L3Harris Technologies Inc has been declared operational last month and the US Space Force has already taken delivery of 16 of them.
Since its formation last year, the US Space Force has centred its attention in defending US satellites and on organisational questions about budget and relationship with the Air force. Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Brogan, a unit head in the combat systems branch of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, reportedly said that Nothing else they were doing in Space Force was offensive in nature or where they were actually going after an adversary.
According to reports, the system is also developing meadowland, a lighter weight satellite capable of jamming more frequencies. L3Harris was already developing four meadowland systems which are expected to be delivered around October 2022. Brogan, while talking to reporters said that the jamming systems were designed to interfere with communication satellites and not those for data relay or taking photographs.
By December this year, the Space Force plans to open a competition for 28 more, with systems projected for delivery between late 2023 and early 2027, international media reported. Meanwhile, US Space Force reportedly said that both China and Russia have "weaponised space with internet to hold American space capabilities as risk" adding that the US had the right to defend itself.
Brogan, reportedly revealed that the new jamming system could be used early in a conflict and won’t create “space junk” because" it emits energy designed to cause temporary, reversible interference." Later, the Air Force released a separate statement saying that the jamming could prevent an adversary’s “ability to accomplish command and control, early warning and propaganda” across “multiple frequency bands.”