The Pentagon says that the Chinese military is preparing to deploy an anti-satellite laser weapon that can be used against American satellites and those of Western powers operating in low orbit by 2020.

According to a Defense Intelligence Agency report on emerging space threats, the Chinese “ASAT” weapon will be capable of either damaging or destroying targeted satellites, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

The directed energy weapon is one of several designed for use against space-based targets including ground-based ASAT missiles, cyber attacks, electronic jammers, and small ‘hunter-killer’ satellites that the Chinese plan to use against U.S. satellites in any future conflict, the DIA report says.

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    “China likely is pursuing laser weapons to disrupt, degrade, or damage sat­ellites and their sensors and possibly already has a limited capability to employ laser systems against satellite sensors,” said the unclassified report.

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