The Pentagon never commented in detail on last year’s launch — and the Chinese have stuck to their story
The U.S. is most vulnerable to a Chinese attack because 43 percent of all satellites in orbit belong to the U.S. military or U.S. companies. According to Lance Gatling, president of Nexial Research, an aerospace consultant in Tokyo, Besides testing missiles that can intercept and destroy satellites, the Chinese have developed jamming techniques to disrupt satellite communications. Furthermore, the Chinese have studied ground-based lasers that could take down a satellite’s solar panels, and satellites equipped with grappling arms that could co-orbit and then disable expensive U.S. hardware
U.S. is exploring ways to mitigate the perceived threat from China, including dispatching a fleet of smaller, mobile satellites that would be harder for adversaries to find and destroy. Enabling satellite transmitters to quickly hop between frequencies could address the Chinese jamming threat, Gatling says.
In June the U.S. Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin (LMT) a $914 million contract to build a ground-based radar system that will track objects as small as a baseball, which could help identify a satellite attack as it’s happening. “Destroying someone’s satellite is an act of war,” says Dave Baiocchi, an engineering professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. “You need to know what’s going on up there.”