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CNN: Russia Testing Anti-Satellite Weapon

Image: CNN: Russia Testing Anti-Satellite Weapon

Russian President Vladimir Putin (Photo by Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 21 Dec 2016 12:38 PM

Russia reportedly tested an anti-satellite weapon, according to unnamed sources, CNN reports.

The PL-19 Nudol missile test occurred on Dec. 16, launched from a base in central Russia. This is the fifth Nudol missile test and the third successful flight. Moscow claims the system is intended for use against enemy missiles, The Washington Free Beacon reports.

According to these sources, the U.S. tracked the weapon but not did detect debris, indicating that it did not destroy its target.

Russia has shown before that it has the capability to launch an anti-satellite weapon, including two tests last year.

"We have very good surveillance and intelligence capabilities, so we can see the threats that are being built," Gen. John Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, told CNN in November. "So we're developing capabilities to defend ourselves."

Mark Schneider, former strategic arms policymaker at the Pentagon, told the Free Beacon that the risk of the U.S. being overtaken in anti-satellite weaponry "is of enormous significance."

"Potentially, it could result in our defeat in a high intensity conflict," Schneider added. "The complete loss of the GPS network, or its serious degradation, would eliminate the effectiveness of all existing long-range conventional strike cruise missiles and would degrade the functioning of many of our precision guided weapons.

"We have begun to take some steps to reduce our reliance on GPS but this will not be near term."

The U.S. successfully destroyed a satellite with a missile in space in 2008 because it was exhibiting orbital decay and was becoming a hazard, according to CNN.

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Russia reportedly tested an anti-satellite weapon, according to unnamed sources, CNN reports.
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Wednesday, 21 Dec 2016 12:38 PM
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