The U.S. Space Command said that Russia has tested direct-to-intercept anti-satellite missiles. As follows from the statement, the Russian missile undergoing tests is capable of shooting down satellites in low Earth orbits ranging in height from 160 to 2000 kilometers.
According to the Americans, "Russia's test of DA-ASAT (direct-ascentanti-satellite weapon) direct-intercept missiles shows yet another example that threats to US space systems and allies are real, serious and increasing" - this is a quote from the head of the US Space Command John Raymond
Another quote from him is Russia's direct accusation of hypocrisy. And this is from the same statement: “they testify to Russia's hypocritical statements in defense of proposals for arms control in outer space aimed at limiting the capabilities of the United States.” And it seems that it is precisely this that should be assimilated by millions of gullible media consumers around the world, and this statement was made precisely for the sake of this charge.
First of all, we note that this test is not something forbidden and extraordinary. Moreover, the American side was notified of their conduct in advance in order to avoid the triggering of their missile attack warning system (SPRN) on our launch. In general, work to improve various weapons systems is carried out by many countries, and as a rule, no one makes tragedy out of this. Yes, there are limitations fixed in various international treaties, for example, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Testing Nuclear Weapons in the Atmosphere, Space and Underwater, signed in Moscow back in 1963. In 1996, the UN General Assembly adopted the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. But in this case, none of these agreements was violated, and no reasonable person has any doubts about the legitimacy of what is happening.
But there are doubts about the sincerity of American motives. It seems that our overseas friends immediately have two serious reasons to portray fright and indignation, and did not fail to take advantage of the current situation in order to derive any benefits from this.
First of all, the Americans are very unhappy with the very fact that Russia likely has the latest A-235 Nudol missile defense system. At one time, the adviser to the US president on national security, Charlie Kapperman, even voiced a demand to ban this system as "destroying the existing system of world security." And this, in general, is not surprising: if you focus on the data available in the open press, the A-235 Nudol can become a truly revolutionary missile defense system (and not only).
Also note that there is some inaccuracy in the statement of the Space Command. 2000 kilometers is not low, but quite an average orbit. This is higher than the orbits of the orbital stations, and even higher than the apogee of ballistic trajectories of strategic missiles at their maximum ranges. If the Americans’s data are correct (and their intelligence usually eats their bread in vain), then this is even more than the preliminary data available in the Russian media - we usually call a thousand kilometers the maximum target hit height. Two thousand is already a real threat to about 75% of all modern satellites, with the exception of high-orbit and geostationary communications and navigation satellites. The list of objects at risk instantly includes all the optical and electronic reconnaissance satellites, for example. And a significant proportion of communication satellites in this case becomes vulnerable.
Let's be honest: in light of these figures, I’m arguing about the status of the Moscow missile defense system - if earlier it was thought of as a local one, covering only Moscow and the Central Industrial Region of Russia, now its “arms” have become much longer and have acquired a truly global reach. More precisely, they can get it when the current A-135 Amur system is replaced by the A-235 Nudol system. True, this globality concerns, first of all, satellites, the orbits of most of which with a certain frequency fall into the zone of destruction of the new Russian missile defense system. But this, of course, gives an occasion to our “partners” to grab their heads seriously.
The second reason: a clear reluctance of the United States to assume political obligations not to deploy strike weapons in space. Russia has been urging Washington to do this for a long time, but it seems that they are in no hurry to give up the possibility of launching into space a certain number of strike weapons necessary for the so-called "decapitation strike". Incidentally, this was also pointed out by the deputy head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Sergei Ryabkov, in his commentary to the media. In particular, he called the statement of the US Space Command "a made-up pretext" in order to continue to ignore proposals to not deploy weapons in space.
These proposals come precisely from Moscow, and this is not the first year. But the United States, confident in its technological superiority, disputes or ignores them with enviable tenacity. Probably their hopes of gaining a decisive advantage due to the space component still warm the hearts of the American military, and this, as we know, is a very serious force in Washington.
In general, at the moment, we can talk about consciously discrediting Russia's efforts to prevent further militarization of outer space. Earlier, if you remember, a whole storm unfolded in the media (with the US filing) because of the so-called Russian satellite inspectors. Then the maneuvers of the Cosmos-2542 and Cosmos-2543 satellites were called dangerous for the American optical reconnaissance satellites, in particular, for the KH series satellites included in the Keyhole / Chrystal group. Somewhat earlier, concern was expressed by representatives of Europe, whose secret satellites flew up “suspiciously close” to their reconnaissance satellites.
The Ministry of Defense of Russia, meanwhile, remains silent and does not particularly speak out in this regard. It is understandable - there is no scandal, everything goes smoothly and within the framework of not only Russian, but also international law. But hardly anyone wants to play along with the Americans and help them inflate a tantrum.
Nevertheless, these information attacks cannot be called completely harmless. Knowing the tactics of the Anglo-Saxons, we can most likely assume that we are talking about the usual "strengthening of negotiation positions" for them. In particular, this is very reminiscent of the situation with the START-3 treaty, which seems to be extended not against Russia. But there is still no clear answer from the United States on this issue, and rumors have circulated for several months that Washington would like to include the latest Russian weapons in the START-3 Treaty, including (and primarily) the Sarmat strategic intercontinental missile and hypersonic nuclear warheads "Vanguard".
It is very likely that the Americans will try to link their consent to the non-deployment of strike weapons in space with precisely Russia's refusal from the A-235 Nudol missile defense system or some of its components. And this will be a very difficult decision for Moscow - yes, everyone wants to have a peaceful sky above their heads, but Nudol is not only satellites, but also nuclear warheads of ballistic missiles, other ballistic and hypersonic targets.
In conjunction with the S-500 complex, which is already close to being adopted, the A-235 Nudol should create a real impenetrable shield over Moscow and the entire Central Industrial Region. But worst of all, in the event of even a partial abandonment of this system, we can only rely on the remnants of the outdated A-135 Amur system, because it will be simply unrealistic to develop some kind of replacement A-235 in a short time.
That is why, we repeat, this information attack can in no way be considered a harmless whim of frightened Americans. No, this is a well-thought-out and aimed for years to come action, the purpose of which is to put the Kremlin before a very tough choice - to take the blame for Washington refusing to sign an agreement on not placing shock weapons in space, or to make a painful compromise and agree with the prohibition of the Nudol system.
Both things are extremely unpleasant for Russia. And so far, only one way is seen to strengthen our negotiating position: to develop such strike space systems so that the Americans are not up to our missile defense, and they would agree to negotiations without preconditions.