China should be able to shoot down Musk’s Starlink – scientists — Analysis
Chinese scientists believe that the satellite system might pose a threat for Beijing.
Chinese military researchers say that China needs to develop the capability to disable or shoot down Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites, should Beijing deem it necessary, the Daily Mail reported last week, citing a Chinese study.
The Modern Defense Technology journal published a paper stating that China should increase its antisatellite capabilities. This is to enable it to track and monitor the Earth’s Starlink satellites, as well as destroy them if needed.
The study was led by Ren Yuanzhen, a researcher with the Beijing Institute of Tracking and Telecommunications under the People’s Liberation Army Strategic Support Force.
“A combination of soft and hard kill methods should be adopted to make some Starlink satellites lose their functions and destroy the constellation’s operating system,”The paper stated.
Starlink, a satellite constellation system operated by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, includes at least 2,400 satellite relays in low-Earth orbit that can facilitate broadband access to information. It can deliver internet access to developing nations, but the satellites may also be useful for military purposes, something Beijing is well aware of.
Starlink was battle-tested during the Ukraine conflict. It has been utilized by the Ukrainian Armed Forces for reconnaissance and artillery strikes.
According to Ren’s team, via a Starlink connection, US military drones and fighter jets could augment their data transfer “one hundred fold,”This could make it more efficient. “potential threat to Chinese national security.”
Ren feels that China should expand its satellite killing capabilities in order to successfully hit Starlink. “The Starlink constellation constitutes a decentralized system. This is not a battle about the satellites but rather the system as a whole. This requires some low-cost, high-efficiency measures,”Researchers said that they did not know the exact methods used to attack the targets, but didn’t give any details.
SpaceX had previously signed an agreement for new technology, based on Starlink’s platform. This will allow it to identify and track hypersonic weaponry. The company was also awarded a contract in January to transport humanitarian aid and military supplies around the globe via a rocket.
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