Sunday, January 6, 2019

Trump's Space Force: We Win, They Lose - Chriss Street

by Chriss Street

President Trump is finally rolling out America's first integrated terrestrial and space-based system to defend against missile attacks.

President Trump’s establishment of the ‘Space Force’ as a branch of the U.S. military recognizes that America is on the verge of “We win, and they lose” strategic dominance. 

In the 36 years since President Ronald Reagan launched his Strategic Defense Initiative, referred to by critics as “Star Wars,” the United States has invested about $254 billion in a series of precision guidance weapons and anti-missile technologies. Following Clinton and Obama administration opposition, President Trump is finally rolling out America’s first integrated terrestrial and space-based system to defend against missile attacks. 

President Trump on June 18, 2018 directed the Department of Defense to immediately begin the process to establishing ‘Space Force’ as the sixth branch of the armed forces. The directive ordered an acceleration of space technology and development initiatives; developing and fielding new next-generation capabilities for national security; creating a unified combatant command, to improve, evolve, and plan space warfighting.

The White House release was first thought to be a response to President Vladimir Putin releasing a video in March to a conference of military officials showcasing Russia’s new array of hypersonic missiles that can fly at Mach 20 and carry nuclear weapons that are 6500 times more powerful than the U.S. bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Putin claimed Russian nuclear weapons are “absolutely invulnerable for any missile defense system.” 

But the TASS News Agency reported in August that Russia’s FSB state security arrested scientist Viktor Kudryavtsev for treason after conducting raids on two weapons laboratories that confirmed top secret files on its “Dagger” and “Avangard” hypersonic maneuverable re-entry vehicles that can deliver conventional or nuclear payloads had been leaked to NATO. TASS also reported another Russian hypersonic expert was convicted of leaking “a software system able to compute optimized aerodynamic characteristics of hypersonic aircraft containing state secrets” to the Chinese military.

The United States Air Force quietly began glide-testing for a Boeing autonomous spaceplane prototype built for NASA that looked like a miniature Challenger Space Shuttle in 1998. With the President George W. Bush withdrawing the U.S. from the 30-year-old Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002, the program was renamed the X-37 and transferred to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Three autonomous X-37s were built and launched into low earth orbits during the Obama Administration, including an X-37B flight that lasted 717 days. A supposedly unarmed X-37B was launched by the Trump Administration on September 7, 2017 and was in an orbit that flew over North Korea early on January 4, 2019.

The Trump Administration announced in May of 2017 that DARPA awarded Boeing’s Southern California Phantom Works a contract to build XS-1 Phantom Express spaceplanes. The Pentagon required “aircraft-like” performance capability to conduct at least 10 flights in as many days. Potentially manned spaceplanes featuring vertical take-off and conventional runway landing are expected to test at the top-secret Area 51

For Space Force targeting, a SpaceX Falcon Block 5 reusable rocket launched the first of 10 Lockheed GPS 3 low-orbit satellites into a constellation orbit on December 23. To minimize vulnerability from Russian and Chinese anti-satellite efforts, the dual use civilian/military GPS 3 navigational tracking system features three times greater accuracy and up to eight times more anti-jamming capabilities than the existing GPS satellites.

The cyber-secure XS-1s and GPS 3 satellite network will be fully-integrated with Raytheon’s OCX next-generation terrestrial ground control anti-missile coverage can track multiple objects and extend coverage to hard-to-reach areas such as urban canyons and mountainous terrain.

The Trump Administration has not been trumpeting what appears to be America’s disruptive lead in ‘Star Wars’ capabilities. But DARPA commented:
"In an era of declining budgets and proliferating foreign threats to U.S. air and space assets, routine, affordable and responsive access to space is essential to enabling new military space capabilities and rapid reconstitution of space systems during crisis.”
As in much else, Donald Trump is leading way in defending America’s interests in space.

Chriss Street


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