US planning new space weapons against China, other rogue statesNovember 14th, 2007 - 5:40 pm ICT by admin
Washington, Nov.14 (ANI): The Pentagon is spending billions of dollars on new forms of space warfare to counter the growing risk of a missile attack from China.
According to The Telegraph, the U.S. Congress has allocated funds to develop futuristic weapons and intelligence systems that operate beyond the Earth’s atmosphere as America looks past Iraq and Afghanistan to the wars of the future.
The most ambitious project in a new 459 billion dollar defence spending Bill, the Falcon, a reusable “hypersonic vehicle” that could fly at six times the speed of sound and deliver 12,000lb of bombs anywhere in the world within minutes.
The bombs’ destructive power would be multiplied by the Earth’s gravitational pull as they travelled at up to 25 times the speed of sound towards their target.
The U.S. Congress has awarded 150 million dollars for the Falcon project and its associated “prompt global strike” programme.
The “global strike” platform would give America the “forward presence” it requires around the world without the need for bases outside the US.
A spokesman for the Pentagon’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) said a first test flight was scheduled for next year.
Loren Thompson, a leading defence analyst in Washington, said the focus of the project was attacking “time sensitive targets” in states such as North Korea and Iran, which have either developed nuclear weapons without international approval or are suspected of doing so.
DARPA is also developing a small unmanned launch vehicle that would provide “responsive and affordable” access to space, for less than five million dollars per launch. The first test flight was made in March.
In its 621-page report on the Defence Appropriations Bill, Congressmen from both Republican and Democratic parties said: “Enhancing these capabilities is crucial, particularly following the Chinese anti-satellite weapons demonstration last January.”
In China’s first successful test of an anti-satellite system, a ground-based missile fired into space shattered a weather satellite in low earth orbit. The Pentagon has also given warning that China is making greater efforts to hack into its defence computers.
Attempts to base missile defence shields in Poland and Czechoslovakia have provoked a fierce row with Russia, while Uzbekistan, which neighbours Afghanistan, evicted the US from an air base two years ago.
Congress’ Joint Economic Committee estimates the economic cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan at 1.6 trillion dollars, roughly double what the White House has requested thus far, according to a report.
For the Iraq war only, total economic costs were estimated at 1.3 trillion dollars from 2002 to 2008. (ANI)
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