US Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall warned that China has the potential “to actually put weapons in space,” citing warfare systems from the Cold War as a reference.
In his keynote address at the Air Force Association Air, Space & Cyber Conference on Monday, Kendall recalled living most of his life during the Cold War. He declared that China might eventually employ a similar strategy to that conflict and that it has “the potential for global strikes from space.”
“There is a potential for weapons to be launched into space, then go through this old concept from the Cold War called the Fractional Orbital Bombardment System,” said Kendall, “which is a system that basically goes into orbit and then de-orbits to a target.”
Kendall also said that, should one choose to take this approach, there would be no need for a traditional intercontinental ballistic missile trajectory, rendering the attack undetectable to most defense and warning systems.
Noting that China already has a “robotic arm” satellite in space, Kendall explained, “There’s no question about the technical feasibility or technology to do these types of things.”
In 2020, Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. Raymond said that while the US does not want space warfare, it still must be prepared. In a speech last year, Raymond also highlighted the urgency for the US to prepare for space warfare defense.
“If you look at the capabilities that they’re developing, it is clear that they are developing capabilities to deny us our access to space,” Raymond said. “We can’t let that happen. If we let that happen, we lose.”