Pentagon Eyeing Future Satellites Capable of Dodging Attacks in Space

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The Pentagon wants to give future satellite constellations the self defense capabilities to avoid missiles or other satellite-based weapons during an attack in space, Defense One reported Friday. U.S. Air Force officials announced the plan during a recent event on Capitol Hill, saying the Department of Defense has begun introducing changes to satellite systems.

“We have to give our mission systems an opportunity to participate in their own defense, give them a fighting chance,” said Michael Dickey, head of the Enterprise Strategy and Architectures Office at Air Force Space Command. “We’ve begun to introduce changes.”

The announcement follows the Defense Intelligence Agency warned in early February that China and Russia started developing space-based weapons, such as lasers. Dickey said DoD wants to build satellites with improved maneuverability to dodge any attack from adversary systems in space.

“It’s not hard to imagine, if someone is shooting at you, you would maybe like to get out the line of fire and so creating some agility with our space systems becomes very important,” he said. “Maneuverability takes fuel and thrusters and all of that.”

Col. Russell Teehan, portfolio architect of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, said future satellites should also feature tools for expanded and faster situational awareness.

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