The U.S. is expanding capabilities to combat a missile attack in space.
Last week President Trump spoke with military leaders at the Pentagon and said space is the frontier where future wars will be fought. As Russia and China develop advanced hypersonic and ballistic missile weaponry the president laid out plans to launch space sensors that will detect and defeat incoming attacks.
“It’s a continuation of research and development and deployment of systems that we’ve been engaged in for decades, and even proceeds the SDI or Star Wars system under Reagan,” says Dr. Andrew Ross, Director in National Security Affairs at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A & M. He says the new plans are a guide for research and development, but don’t include new weapons systems, and won’t immediately impact our defenses against missiles. “There’s a new emphasis in missile defense planning to attempt to develop the capability to destroy missile before they’re launched. The term that’s used is called ‘Left of Launch’.” He emphasizes that future capabilities will mostly involve the Air Force and Navy.
Dr. Ross says DOD is focusing now on potential conflict with rogue nations like Iran and Syria.
As to whether we have achieved President Reagan’s initial goal of being able to shoot an incoming missile from space before it reaches the U.S, Dr. Ross is frank. “No, we’re still not there.” He says tests are about 50% accurate.