Pentagon ready To Unveil and Demonstrate operational Classified Space Weapon

sublight is back

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For months, top officials at the Defense Department have been working toward declassifying the existence of a secret space weapon program and providing a real-world demonstration of its capabilities, Breaking Defense has learned.

The effort — which sources say is being championed by Gen. John Hyten, the vice-chairman of the joint chiefs of staff — is close enough to completion that there was a belief the anti-satellite technology might have been revealed at this year’s National Space Symposium, which kicks off next week.
 

Flyaway

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That article then turns into a debate on the eternal issue of what to declassify.

Notably, the second-in-command of the Space Force recently foreshadowed movement in the long-running debate about declassification of all things related to national security space — a multifaceted and complex debate which has pitted advocates against upholders of the traditional culture of secrecy within DoD and the Intelligence Community.

“It is absolutely a true problem,” Gen. DT Thompson, deputy Space Force commander, responded to a question about over-classification during a July 28 Mitchell Institute event. “I wish we owned our own destiny in that regard, but we don’t — it’s part of a broader activity and we just have to work through that. What I will say is, I think we’re on the verge of a couple of significant steps.”
 

greenmartian2017

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Bhurki

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"Proximity triggered radio-frequency jammers on certain military satellites",

"High-powered microwave system that can zap electronics carried on maneuverable bodyguard satellites"

Its star wars, boys!!
 

Flyaway

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Having thought about this I think I can hazard a guess as to what launches this might be referring to.
 

Justo Miranda

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If they do not have the will to use weapons to defend their beliefs, it is irrelevant whether they are classified or not.
 

Archibald

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Ha ha reminds me of that good one, related to STS-27 and his crew of pranksters - Hoot Gibson and Mike Mullane, among others.

STS-27 was deeply classified and it took decades for the main payload to be declassified.
Hoot Gibson back then had a rather good one.

At this same debriefing, Hoot reacquainted the post-docs with the sick humor of the fighter pilot. During our mission, there had been a horrific earthquake in the Soviet Eastern Bloc state of Armenia, killing 25,000 people. The TV news was still showing images of masked workers pulling bodies from the rubble.

“I know many of you have been very curious about our classified payload.” Hoot paused until the room was hushed in expectation.

“While I can’t go into its design features, I can say Armenia was our first target.”

The military astronauts laughed. A handful of the post-docs cringed in disgust.

Hoot tormented them further by adding, “And we only had the weapon set on stun !”

The comment elicited more laughter and a few female darts of “Don’t you guys ever grow up?”

 

Arjen

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That is the kind of remark only to be made if you know every single person in the room, most likely not even then. Grossly insensitive.
 
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Archibald

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I like the "opportunistic" side of the joke - STS-27 and Spitak earthquake happened the same week. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1988_Armenian_earthquake

Note that Gibson there expressly went for the crudest, most outrageous joke he could think off to shock (as a pilot with a weird humor) what is called "post docs" here - "payload specialists"

Mullane in his book recognized with a lot of self-derision that a lot of military / pilots were immature pranksters and sexists pigs, sometimes consciously (thus deliberately), and sometimes unconsciously (and it hurt them in this case).
 

Orionblamblam

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Nope its payload bay is a bit small for anything particularly substantial.
It could fit in a few Exoatmospheric Kill Vechicles from anti-missile-missiles like GBI, SM-3 and THAAD.

It *could,* but it shouldn't. That's a terrible way to deploy such weapons. A non-re-entering bus would be far more effective and efficient. It's not like EKVs are so fabulously expensive that they would need to be returned. If they were *nukes,* then, sure.
 

Bhurki

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If they do not have the will to use weapons to defend their beliefs, it is irrelevant whether they are classified or not.
'Will to use' and

That is the kind of remark only to be made if you know every single person in the room, most likely not even then. Grossly insensitive.
Sensitivity.......

These are the growing internal deterrants to using armed forces around the world to fulfill political and security objectives.

Any visible military tools like tanks, troops and tactical aircraft are subjected to the direct fury of disapproval from the taxpaying public if the Information warfare against there use has been successfully conducted.

Therefore, now only a few tools remain, that can be used without the fear of internal resistance, eg. Space based assets, SoCOM and any stealth long range aircraft. Basically anything that your local media network can't capture through its lens while operations go on.
 

Archibald

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Sensitivity

TBFH I already had the same kind of reaction posting that joke at others forums. :p
Not that I disaprove the said reaction. The joke is pretty outrageous. That's why I added some background / context afterwards.

As for me, I find it amusing for its opportunistic side, related to the dates / events brought together by the joke. It takes a rather mischievous brain and also a fast mind to do that.

It is a rather outrageous development of the absurd joke style
such as
"An apple a day keep the doctor away"
"Yeah. If you aim well !"
(Churchill)
 

Dilandu

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It *could,* but it shouldn't. That's a terrible way to deploy such weapons. A non-re-entering bus would be far more effective and efficient. It's not like EKVs are so fabulously expensive that they would need to be returned. If they were *nukes,* then, sure.
It depend on goals, you know. X-37B have quite good delta-V supply. So if you are aiming for orbital intercept of enemy space craft, it actually make sence to use it as pre-deployed maneuvering stage (recoverable also) for EKV's.
 

Hood

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They must be very confident it works reliably (presumably the thing has already been tested).
Wouldn't be good PR to make sure every space agency in the world is watching just for something to go *fizz pop* at the crucial moment and then look silly.
 

sferrin

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I'll believe it when I see it. 99% of the headlines like this we see turn out to be basically click-bait. "We modified Northrop Grumman's MEV to scoop up space trash*. Since this trash would no longer be able to "potentially" hit one of our military satellites it's defending them. So it's a defensive weapon really. But in defending our military satellites it makes our offensive forces more effective so really it's an OFFensive weapon."

*"Anonymous sources say. . ."
 

Flyaway

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I'll believe it when I see it. 99% of the headlines like this we see turn out to be basically click-bait. "We modified Northrop Grumman's MEV to scoop up space trash*. Since this trash would no longer be able to "potentially" hit one of our military satellites it's defending them. So it's a defensive weapon really. But in defending our military satellites it makes our offensive forces more effective so really it's an OFFensive weapon."

*"Anonymous sources say. . ."
Amateur space trackers have observed the behaviours of certain classified payloads and there is probably enough clues in that to hazard a guess that it maybe related to this. Problem is people immediately see the phrase space weapon and think lasers, forgetting there are plenty of other approaches to dealing with other satellites.
 

rooster

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I bet my 2 cents: something related to the still rather obscure X-37B.
All 2 airframes?

If history is a guide, then what is being declassified is already obsolete by something else being fielded.

We already have had leaks of hunter killer satellites and stealth satellites in many years past.
 

Kat Tsun

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I'll believe it when I see it. 99% of the headlines like this we see turn out to be basically click-bait. "We modified Northrop Grumman's MEV to scoop up space trash*. Since this trash would no longer be able to "potentially" hit one of our military satellites it's defending them. So it's a defensive weapon really. But in defending our military satellites it makes our offensive forces more effective so really it's an OFFensive weapon."

*"Anonymous sources say. . ."
Amateur space trackers have observed the behaviours of certain classified payloads and there is probably enough clues in that to hazard a guess that it maybe related to this. Problem is people immediately see the phrase space weapon and think lasers, forgetting there are plenty of other approaches to dealing with other satellites.

I'm waiting for the US to reveal its secret istrebitel sputnik with grappling arms that can grab and throw enemy satellites into other satellites.
 

Flyaway

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I'll believe it when I see it. 99% of the headlines like this we see turn out to be basically click-bait. "We modified Northrop Grumman's MEV to scoop up space trash*. Since this trash would no longer be able to "potentially" hit one of our military satellites it's defending them. So it's a defensive weapon really. But in defending our military satellites it makes our offensive forces more effective so really it's an OFFensive weapon."

*"Anonymous sources say. . ."
Amateur space trackers have observed the behaviours of certain classified payloads and there is probably enough clues in that to hazard a guess that it maybe related to this. Problem is people immediately see the phrase space weapon and think lasers, forgetting there are plenty of other approaches to dealing with other satellites.

I'm waiting for the US to reveal its secret istrebitel sputnik with grappling arms that can grab and throw enemy satellites into other satellites.
I was actually thinking back to this.

 

Kat Tsun

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I'll believe it when I see it. 99% of the headlines like this we see turn out to be basically click-bait. "We modified Northrop Grumman's MEV to scoop up space trash*. Since this trash would no longer be able to "potentially" hit one of our military satellites it's defending them. So it's a defensive weapon really. But in defending our military satellites it makes our offensive forces more effective so really it's an OFFensive weapon."

*"Anonymous sources say. . ."
Amateur space trackers have observed the behaviours of certain classified payloads and there is probably enough clues in that to hazard a guess that it maybe related to this. Problem is people immediately see the phrase space weapon and think lasers, forgetting there are plenty of other approaches to dealing with other satellites.

I'm waiting for the US to reveal its secret istrebitel sputnik with grappling arms that can grab and throw enemy satellites into other satellites.
I was actually thinking back to this.


There was a picture on Twitter in French that claimed US MEO birds had some sort of grappling ability or some such.

I'm just hoping it uses an M16 or something to shoot at other satellites like in Outlaw Star. Or throw baby satellites like shurikens.
 

publiusr

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This shouldn’t have been revealed …except to us :)
 

Byeman

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It *could,* but it shouldn't. That's a terrible way to deploy such weapons. A non-re-entering bus would be far more effective and efficient. It's not like EKVs are so fabulously expensive that they would need to be returned. If they were *nukes,* then, sure.
It depend on goals, you know. X-37B have quite good delta-V supply. So if you are aiming for orbital intercept of enemy space craft, it actually make sence to use it as pre-deployed maneuvering stage (recoverable also) for EKV's.
No, that is wrong on every point. It doesn't have that much delta V and being on orbit is bad for going after other spacecraft in different orbits. It makes no sense.
 

Josh_TN

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I suspect the mechanism isn't kinetic and I don't see how it could involve the X-37B since there are only two platforms.
 

Dilandu

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No, that is wrong on every point. It doesn't have that much delta V and being on orbit is bad for going after other spacecraft in different orbits. It makes no sense.
Er, according to the data, X-37B have about 3,1 km/s?

I suspect the mechanism isn't kinetic and I don't see how it could involve the X-37B since there are only two platforms.
I agree, that it is not very probable.
 

Byeman

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Er, according to the data, X-37B have about 3,1 km/s?

Not physically possible. Would require more propellant in the spacecraft than Atlas V could carry. Also, would mean X-37 would be 2/3 propellant.
 

TomS

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Isn't placing weapons in space a big no-no?
I predict this is likely some ground or aircraft launched anti-satellite missile.

Did you actually read the Wiki page you linked?

The OST bans weapons of mass destruction in space, not all weapons. As long as this capability isn't nuclear, it's absolutely fine under the OST

Among the Outer Space Treaty's main points are that it prohibits the placing of nuclear weapons in space, limits the use of the Moon and all other celestial bodies to peaceful purposes only, and establishes that space shall be free for exploration and use by all nations, but that no nation may claim sovereignty of outer space or any celestial body. The Outer Space Treaty does not ban military activities within space, military space forces, or the weaponization of space, with the exception of the placement of weapons of mass destruction in space,
 

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