Russia does not conceal the fact that anti-aircraft missiles are capable of shooting down satellites, although this is not their main purpose, military expert Alexei Leonkov believes.
The U.S. Air Force Space Command said on its website on Wednesday, April 15, that Russia was testing an anti-satellite missile of direct interception that can destroy satellites in low-Earth orbit (160-2000 km above the surface of the planet).
Russia tested the missile after the maneuvers of Russian satellites Cosmos-2542 and Cosmos-2543, the messages on the website said. The US reported those tests as well and claimed that they were dangerously close to the USA-245 satellite, which is also known as KH-11 (part of the Keyhole/Chrystal reconnaissance group of satellites that can monitor the entire surface of the Earth.
According to the US side, the capacity of those satellites was similar to that of space weapons, and they conducted the maneuvers near the satellite of the US government, which was interpreted as irresponsible and potentially threatening in any other area."
"Russia's DA-ASAT test provides yet another example that the threats to U.S. and allied space systems are real, serious and growing," said Gen. John Raymond, the head of U.S. Space Command and chief of space operations for the U.S. Space Force.
According to him, those tests testify to the hypocritical statements of Russia in defense of proposals for arms control in space, the purpose of which is to limit the capabilities of the United States.
Military expert Aleksey Leonkov told Pravda.Ru that Russia did not conceal the fact that those missiles were capable of shooting down satellites, even though their main purpose is to attack ballistic missiles.
"We use a thermonuclear warhead at A-235 (Nudol) complex, which neutralizes several ballistic missiles at a time. If satellites find themselves in the epicenter of a nuclear explosion in high orbit, they would be useless too, because electromagnetic radiation caused by nuclear explosion leads to shorts circuit in all electrical and electronic circuits, making all electronic devices inoperative," the military expert explained.
As for Cosmos-2542 and Cosmos-2543 satellites, Alexei Leonkov explained that those spacecraft were used to test a new generation of Hall-effect thrusters, which enable the craft to quickly and flexibly change orbit in the event of a threat of collision with space debris."
There is another program - the creation of spacecraft capable of examining and repairing satellites in case minor damage is caused. They can, for example, restart satellite software in orbit.
Alexei Leonkov emphasized that the Russian Federation and the United States have a missile attack warning system. Therefore, when Russia carries out such tests, we warn that the launch of such a missile is not an act of aggression against the United States.
Russia also warns the USA
According to the expert, the Americans decided to use this information for propaganda purposes against Russia.
"Everyone knows that the largest satellite group belongs to the Americans. They want, with the help of Elon Musk, to deploy 20,000 small satellites in orbit supposedly to distribute free Internet. In fact, the technology that Musk is about to introduce will be directly used by the Pentagon in cyber warfare and wars of the future. They attack key importance to those 5G technologies," said the military expert.
According to him, the Americans plan to militarize space, whereas Russia does not have such an objective.
"The launches of our missile defense systems are purely defensive, they are conducted within the framework of Russia's military doctrine," concluded Alexei Leonkov.