Peter Dutton makes shock claim China is preparing to put dozens of weapons in space and cripple Western militaries
- Australia’s Defence Minister makes shocking claim China is militarising space
- China has completed 50 orbital launches this year to deliver dual-use satellites
- Australia has invested $7billion into space capabilities over the next ten years
- China is predicted to overtake the US as most powerful force in space by 2030
Peter Dutton has warned China is preparing to militarise space with the use of powerful satellites in a bid to cripple and intimidate Western militaries.
The Defence Minister’s announcement on the intensifying ‘space race’ revealed it would be critical for Australia to work closely with allies like the US to hinder efforts by China and Russia to gain an advantage in the cosmos.
Mr Dutton said China was using the same tactics to intimidate western forces as it did in historical clashes for contentious land that was claimed to aid efforts to weaken satellites and communications from space.
‘The space race is on and assured access to space is critical to the Australian Defence Force’s war-fighting effectiveness (through) situational awareness, delivery of real-time communications and information,’ he said.
The defence minister added he was ‘very concerned’ with how quickly China was seeking to militarise space and gain an advantage over the western world.
Peter Dutton has made a shocking suggestion that China is militarising space with the addition of dozens of weapons (pictured, a NASA photo of the International Space Station)
He said the conduct was reminiscent of China’s bid for disputed land in the East China Sea, the land border of India and clashes with the Phillipines and Vietnam.
China earlier this year announced a new coastguard law and maritime safety regulations as it encroached into disputed land in the South and East China Seas.
The new border laws authorise the use of force in the contentious areas and comes amid rising tensions in neighbouring countries.
‘I don’t think anyone would be surprised by that,’ Mr Dutton said.
‘I think Russia and China are two countries that cause us considerable concern.’
The alarming predictions come amid moves from both Russia and China to create satellites that can attack other enemy satellites.
Beijing is rumoured to be developing one such satellite that can claw or grapple a rival with a mechanical arm, the Australian reports.
The vice chief of space operations for the US Space Force, David Thompson, earlier this month revealed China and Russia were already attacking enemy satellites.
General Thompson said China is moving at ‘twice the rate’ of the US in developing capabilities in space and revealed US satellites were being interrupted with lasers, cyber attacks and radio-frequency jammers.
Mr Dutton (pictured) said it would be critical for Australia to work closely with allies like the US to hinder efforts by China and Russia to gain an advantage in the cosmos
‘The threats are really growing and expanding every single day. And it’s really an evolution of activity that’s been happening for a long time,’ he said.
‘We’re really at a point now where there’s a whole host of ways that our space systems can be threatened.’
China recently completed 50 orbital launches this year as it looks to overtake the US as the most powerful force in space by 2030.
Mr Dutton reassured residents the government would collaborate with the US to protect western assets in space and is investing heavily in space capability.
Australia has committed to about $7bn in space capability over the next decade.
The investment will be put in early-warning systems and protecting the country’s assets in space including GPS on satellite communications and imagery.
Mr Dutton said it was important to have a ‘reliable presence’ in the cosmos with space-based technology assisting in both bushfires and the pandemic.
‘There is a lot of work with our allies, predominantly the United States, in our space program and it’s very much an important component of strategic competition and military advantage,’ the defence minister said.
China recently completed 50 orbital launches this year as it looks to overtake the US as the most powerful force in space by 2030 (pictured, a Chinese aircraft launches in Jiuquan)
In November, Russia confirmed that it blew up one of its own satellites using a missile, marking the country’s first complete test of the technology.
Cosmos 1408, a defunct spy satellite launched in 1982, was destroyed during a test which took place on Monday, the Russian Ministry of Defence said today.
But the MoD denied the test posed any danger to the International Space Station, after the US said astronauts – including two Russians – were forced to shelter in their escape pods for two hours yesterday amid fears they could be hit by debris.
NATO, having been briefed on the test by Washington, condemned what it called a ‘reckless act’ by Moscow that ‘demonstrates Russia is developing new weapons.’
Mr Dutton described the test as ‘a provocative and dangerous act that demonstrated the threats to space systems are real, serious and growing’.
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