China and Russia ‘have weaponised space with killer energy weapon satellites’

China and Russia have successfully weaponised space by deploying killer satellites with “directed-energy weapons”, United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has claimed.

Esper issued the stark warning at the Air Force Association’s Virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference on Wednesday (September 16).

He claimed the US’s long-standing adversaries “seek to erode our long-standing dominance in air power”.

“In space, Moscow and Beijing have turned a once peaceful arena into a war-fighting domain,” he said.

“They have weaponised space through killer satellites, directed energy weapons and more in an effort to exploit our systems and chip away at our military advantage.

“Furthermore, our competitors and adversaries exploit cyberspace to undermine our security without confronting our conventional strains.



A stock image of a satellite firing a laser

“They do this all in an increasingly grey zone of engagement that keeps us in a perpetual state of competition.”

In an effort to combat these threats and maintain America’s “military edge”, Esper said the Air Force is “advancing critical technologies”.

These include developing “hypersonic weapons, directed energy and autonomous systems”, he added.

Last year, US President Donald Trump founded the United States Space Force – a branch of the Air Force.



Esper made the comments at a conference yesterday

As outlined in the United States Space Force Act, it’s two functions are to “provide freedom of operation for the United States in, from, and to space” as well as providing “prompt and sustained space operations”.

Tensions over space superiority have risen this year, after the US and UK accused Russia of testing a weapon-like projectile above Earth.

China, meanwhile, is determined to replace the US as the dominant power in space, according to Defense News.

.