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 â€œASATâ€ 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 â€˜hunter-killerâ€™ satellites that the Chinese plan to use against U.S. satellites in any future conflict, the DIA report says.
â€œChina likely is pursuing laser weapons to disrupt, degrade, or damage satÂellites and their sensors and possibly already has a limited capability to employ laser systems against satellite sensors,â€ said the unclassified report.
Never miss a story! Sign up for our daily email newsletter â€”Â Click here!