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President Donald Trump will announce at the Pentagon on Jan. 17 an ambitious new missile defense strategy that will aim to develop space-based sensors to detect enemy missiles and Star-Wars style orbital weaponry to shoot them down.
“Space, I think, is the key to the next step of missile defense,” a senior Trump administration official told reporters in a background call previewing the president’s announcement. “A space-based layer of sensors is something we are looking at to help get early warning and tracking and discrimination of missiles when they are launched.”
President - Ronald - Reagan - Star - Wars
President Ronald Reagan previously floated a “Star Wars” initiative in the 1980s that never came to fruition.
According to Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Michael Griffin, space-based sensors can help detect hypersonic missiles, which are hard to detect with conventional systems. Russia and China both claim to have developed a hypersonic missile that can evade conventional sensors.
Aspects - Missile - Defense - Systems - Official
The space-based aspects of the missile defense systems are currently only being studied, the official said.
The investments come on top of previously announced U.S. plans to increase the number of ground-based interceptors over the next several years, hiking the number positioned at Fort Greely, Alaska, to 64 from 44.
Space - Aspects - Missile - Defense - Strategy
The space aspects of the missile defense strategy align with Trump’s push to catch up with America’s adversaries in space. Russia and China have both developed advanced systems that can disable satellites.
The Pentagon warned in a report earlier this week that China’s military was “on the verge of fielding some of the most modern weapon systems in the...
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