Russia has successfully tested an anti-satellite missile capable of wiping out U.S. navigation, communications and intelligence devices.
The Nudol direct ascent missile was launched from a facility in Plesetsk, 500 miles north of Moscow, and was monitored by U.S. intelligence.
It is unknown whether the Nudol was fired at a target or just launched on a suborbital trajectory but the successful test represents a major milestone for Russia as it continues to modernise its strategic arsenal under President Vladimir Putin.
The developments have been shrouded in secrecy but Russian state reports have insisted that the Nudol is for defense purposes, describing it as ‘a new Russian long-range missile defense’.
However, former Pentagon official Mark Schneider warned that the consequences of an anti-satellite attack on the U.S. could be devastating.
‘The loss of GPS guidance due to [anti-satellite] attack would take out a substantial part of our precision weapons delivery capability and essentially all of our standoff capability,’ he told The Washington Free Beacon.
Air Force Lt. Gen. David J. Buck, commander of the Joint Functional Component Command for Space, said in March that ‘Russia views U.S. dependency on space as an exploitable vulnerability, and they are taking deliberate actions to strengthen their counter-space capabilities.’
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