Space Force receives its first offensive weapon that can knock out enemy satellites from the ground

March 17, 2020

Space Force receives its first offensive weapon that can knock out enemy satellites from the ground

  • The Space Force has officially received its first new offensive weapon - an upgraded ground-based satellite communications jamming system
  • The system disrupts transmissions from enemy communications satellites
  • This specific upgrade includes new software capabilities that will counter new adversary targets and threats
  • This marks the Space Force's first offensive system in their arsenal since the group was launched under Donald Trump's direction in December 2019  
  • The first Counter Communications System started in the US Air Force in 2004
  • Since the early 2000's it's received incremental upgrades 

The Space Force has officially received its first new offensive weapon - an upgraded ground-based satellite communications jamming system that will allow the military to disrupt and knock out enemy satellite transmissions. 

On March 9 the Space Force announced that their new weapon the Counter Communications System Block 10.2, also dubbed CCS B10.2, reached initial operational capability. 

This marks the Space Force's first offensive system in their arsenal since the group was launched in December 2019. 

The CSS is a jamming system that disrupts transmissions from enemy communications satellites. 

While the system has received incremental upgrades since the early 2000s - including new techniques, frequency bands, and technology refreshes - this specific upgrade includes new software capabilities that will counter new adversary targets and threats, the program manager Major Seth Horner said in January as per The Drive.

The weapon gives the US a massive advantage on the battlefield and the power to disrupt enemy units from rapidly communicating and sharing information via their satellite-based systems. 

The Air Force says the effects are 'reversible', meaning when the jammer shuts off, the target satellite would function as normal. 

'This upgrade puts the 'force' in Space Force and is critical for Space as a warfighting domain,' Lieutenant Colonel Steve Brogan of the Space Force's Space and Missile Systems Center's (SMC) Special Programs Directorate, said. 

The Space Force said that they deliberately chose a non-kinetic anti-satellite weapon in order to avoid physically destroying enemy assets in space, which would create floating debris that could threaten friendly systems in orbit. 

In doing so the US is taking a different offensive strategy than Russia and Chinese, which has weapons that destroy enemy satellites in space. 

'We are not going down that path' US Air Force General John Hyten, then-head of Air Force Space Command, Said to lawmakers in 2016.   

The first Counter Communications System started in the US Air Force in 2004. Since then the program has been transformed to the newest branch of the American military.  

The SMC and the 4th Space Control Squadron celebrated with a ceremony on March 12 to commemorate the historic event. 

During the ceremony a key was handed over from the space office to the space operations unit at the Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, signifying the transfer of responsibility. 

The CCS weapon system will be used by Air National Guard units in California, Colorado and Florida. 

'CCS B10.2 represents the end of the traditional way of development,' Col. Stephen Purdy,' the director of Special programs with the Space and Missiles Center, said in a a release

'Future upgrades and enhancements will make use of SMC’s Agile DevSecOps (Development, Security and Operations) approach adapting to the evolving battlefield while delivering capabilities to the warfighter faster and better than our opponents.'

The upgrade for the CCS B10.2 system was led by the Harris Corporation, which merged with L3 Technologies last year to form L3Harris Technologies. The group won the contract from the Air Force to develop the system in 2014. 

The Space Force was officially established in December 2019 under the National Defense Authorization Act for the 2020 Fiscal Year.  





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