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What’s New: An annual report on counterspace capabilities of various nations by our friends at Secure World Foundation

  • Not just the usual suspects. The report includes info on Australia, South Korea, Japan, France, the UK, among others.

Why its Important: The more we rely on space, the more attractive space assets become as targets for our adversaries. 

What to Know: This is a great product and reference. If you understand how much we in the U.S. rely on space, it reads like a horror novel.

  • This report was released Friday, the same day as the CSIS Space Threat Assessment 2023. So this is not a duplicate posting. Folks are worried about weapons and conflict in space. As they should be.

Below are the updates (from their website) included in this year’s report.

Global Counterspace Capabilities Report

The 2023 Report

The 2023 edition of the report assesses the current and near-term future capabilities for each country, along with their potential military utility. Countries covered in this report are divided up into those who have conducted debris-causing anti-satellite tests (the United States, Russia, China, India) and those who are developing counterspace technologies (Australia, France, Japan, Iran, North Korea, South Korea, and the United Kingdom). It covers events and activities through February 2023.

Major Updates in 2023:

  • Update on orbital debris still in space from ASAT testing by the US, Russia, China, and India (3,472 pieces out of 6,850 total created)
  • RPO between U.S. GSSAP satellite USA 270 and Chinese SY-12 (01) and SY0-12 (02) satellites in GEO in January 2022
  • Clarified distinction between the historical Soviet Kontakt DA-ASAT and the new Russian Burevestnik air-launched co-orbital ASAT system
  • Multiple upgrades to Russian SSA capabilities (Kalina, Krona, Pristel, Zorkiy)
  • Details about the Chinese Shenlong spaceplane flights in Sept 2020 and Aug 2022
  • Added two new likely Chinese DA-ASAT tests in February 2021 and June 2022 (which hit ballistic targets and did not created additional orbital debris)
  • Increasing incidents of GPS interference linked to the armed conflict in Ukraine and major military exercises by multiple countries
  • Increased focus by Japan, South Korea, and UK on improving indigenous SSA capabilities and developing electronic warfare capabilities
  • Details on plans for France’s YODA system for RPO/SSA in GEO, including potential offensive DEW capabilities
  • Added information about Australia’s announcement that they would be exploring non-destructive EW counterspace capabilities
  • Case study on the Russian cyber attack on Viasat’s KA-SAT service as part of the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022