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Brand New Space Race Heats Up As Russia Tests Anti-Satellite Missile

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Steve Ambrose Contributor
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Russia has successfully completed its first test of an anti-satellite missile known as Nudol, joining China in the development of technology designed for space warfare.

Russia conducted the tests in November, reported The Washington Free Beacon.

Pavel Podvig, director of the online Russian Nuclear Forces Project, said that little is known about the missile, “but as far as I can tell, Nudol … may be related to the program that would upgrade the Moscow missile defense.” (RELATED: Turkey Cuts Russian Gas Imports As Tensions Between Them Grow)

(Screen shot of the missile taken from a LiveJournal http://bit.ly/1XCxZPp)

(Screen shot of the missile taken from a LiveJournal http://bit.ly/1XCxZPp)

China also recently completed its testing of an anti-satellite missile called the Dong Neng-3. According to security officials, this is “primarily a direct-ascent missile designed to ram into satellites and destroy them.” But, it does have some missile defense capabilities.

Assistant Secretary for the Department of State Frank Rose told the Financial Times in November that both Russia and China “view space as an asymmetric vulnerability of the United States. And if they can deny the United States, and its allies, access to space systems, they can gain military advantage here on earth.” (RELATED: Turkey’s Latest Move On Russia Has Folks Worried ‘WWIII Is About To Start’)

Rose’s comments came amid reports the U.S. and China were setting up a “space hotline,” or direct line of communication to share and coordinate information regarding space activities in the hopes of averting accidents and wars. (RELATED: China, US Are Officially Worried About A Space War)

In addition to the beef up of space warfare technology, China also successfully completed its sixth test of its hypersonic maneuvering strike vehicle, known as the DF-ZF.

According to U.S. officials, during the Nov. 23 tests, the DF-ZF achieved speeds between Mach 5 (3,836 miles per hour) and Mach 10 (7,680 miles per hour). The vehicles could also be armed with nuclear weapons or perform non-nuclear precision strikes.

Hypersonic maneuvering vehicles can radically change trajectory to avoid missile defenses and have ‘gliding’ capabilities that allow them to extend range better than a conventional ballistic missile warhead.

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Tags : china russia
Steve Ambrose