WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
Space is just another battleground waiting to be spun up, and the US just raised the stakes again.
The race for space is on – literally. Whether it’s Elon Musk trying to block out the stars by launching his constellation of over 12,000 satellites that will blanket the Earth in internet coverage, and darkness, or the usual super powers trying to find new ways to leverage their space based assets to blind and kill one another during a war.
In the latest round of one upmanship, and having already released a new range of satellites that can dodge inbound missiles “like an NBA Allstar” the US has just revealed a new weapons system that can jam military satellites from the ground and prevent adversaries from accessing their satellites. Furthermore, the new platform lets the space force neutralise orbiting satellites in a matter of mere minutes.
The new weapon system is technically called the Counter Communications Systems (CCS) Block 10.2 and was delivered to the 4th Space Control Squadron of the newly created US space force who welcomed its arrival.
The program manager for the new weapons system, Maj. Seth Horner of the United States Space Force had this to say about the new CCS.
“The Counter Communications System is a transportable satellite communications system that provides a ground-based capability to reversibly deny adversary satellite communications. CCS has had incremental upgrades since the early 2000’s, which have incorporated new techniques, frequency bands, technology refreshes, and lessons learned from previous block upgrades. This specific upgrade includes new software capabilities to counter new adversary targets and threats.”
A more concise definition of what these new machines can do is that they are mobile satellite communication jammers that can be attached to planes or mounted to ground transports. The tweet below should give you a better idea of just what these weapons systems look like.
SMC’s CCS B10.2 is putting the “Force” in Space Force reaching IOC, Monday, March 9th, marking the first offensive weapon system assigned to the @SpaceForceDoD. A ceremony is scheduled on March 12th @PeteAFB to commemorate this historic event. (Courtesy Photo by @L3HarrisTech) pic.twitter.com/EoH9nxkfQ8
— SMC (@AF_SMC) March 11, 2020
One of the biggest potential benefits of having the CCS as an offensive weapons system is that it now gives the US the ability to block enemies’ abilities to get warnings about incoming missile strikes.
The system was first designed and introduced in 2004 but it has been in constant development since, and now that the 10.2 block has arrived over time it will end up being able to jam more and more frequencies which, no doubt, will give the US’s major adversaries a new headache to worry about.