The U.S. and UK on Thursday accused Russia of testing an anti-satellite weapon in space earlier this month.
"U.S. Space Command has evidence that Russia conducted a non-destructive test of a space-based anti-satellite weapon," on July 15, the command said in a statement.
"The Russian satellite system used to conduct this on-orbit weapons test is the same satellite system that we raised concerns about earlier this year, when Russia maneuvered near a U.S. government satellite," said Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond, Commander of U.S. Space Command and U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations.
"This is further evidence of Russia's continuing efforts to develop and test space-based systems, and consistent with the Kremlin's published military doctrine to employ weapons that hold U.S. and allied space assets at risk."
It’s the same satellite spotted Nov. 25 stalking spy satellite USA 245, which snaps intelligence photos of Earth for the Pentagon.
The Russian Defense Ministry at the time said the spacecraft was “launched into the target orbit from which the state of domestic satellites can be monitored.”
"The optical equipment of the spacecraft also allows you to take pictures of the Earth's surface,” the organization added.
Air Vice-Marshal Harvey Smyth, the head of the UK’s space directorate, said Russia’s actions “threaten the peaceful use of space and risk causing debris that could pose a threat to satellites and the space systems on which the world depends. We call on Russia to avoid any further such testing.
“We also urge Russia to continue to work constructively with the UK and other partners to encourage responsible behavior in space.”
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