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[] ISRJournal 19.10.04: Satellite Jammer Ready: U.S. Satellite Jammer Ready,

Satellite Jammer Ready: U.S.
Parallel Effort To Thwart Imaging Craft Dropped

October 19, 2004

With a recently released doctrine document on achieving space superiority 
serving as a backdrop, the U.S. Air Force acknowledged that one system 
designed to counter enemy satellite use has been canceled while another is 
ready for action.

The canceled system, dubbed Counter Surveillance Reconnaissance System 
(CSRS) and known informally as Scissors, was designed to temporarily 
disrupt imaging satellites being used by U.S. adversaries in battle. 
Officially declared operational, meanwhile, was the Counter Communications 
System (CounterCom), a radio frequency-based system designed to temporarily 
jam communications satellites, the Air Force said.

The Air Force publicly disclosed plans for the ground-based CounterCom and 
CSRS systems in 2003, saying they would be deployed in 2005 and 2009 
respectively. Both programs were described as key elements of a broader 
Pentagon effort to achieve space control -- the ability to freely utilize 
one's own space systems while denying similar capabilities to adversaries.

Space control, or space superiority, has been accorded a high priority in 
recent years as the U.S. military grows ever more dependent on satellite 
capabilities. At the same time, the global proliferation of communications 
and reconnaissance satellites -- owned by both governments and private 
companies -- has made militarily relevant space capabilities readily 
available to U.S. adversaries.

The means of protecting U.S. space capabilities while countering those of 
adversaries are outlined in detail in an Air Force document dubbed 
"Counterspace Operations: Air Force Doctrine Document 2-2.1." The document, 
dated Aug. 2, spells out how the Air Force will organize to achieve space 
superiority along with the challenges it will face.

In a briefing with reporters Oct. 7 at the Strategic Space 2004 conference 
here, Gen. Lance Lord, commander of Air Force Space Command, officially 
acknowledged the cancellation of the CSRS effort and said the service is 
looking for possible alternatives.

"We will continue to look at that set of technologies and that kind of 
mission and work appropriately in the future," Lord said. "It's one we have 
to proceed very carefully with, to make sure we have the right program with 
the right kind of capabilities. Who canceled it and why is not my issue. My 
issue is to make sure we look at the technology and build a program and 
we're going to keep pressing in that area."

The CSRS was a to be a nondestructive system that would use directed energy 
to temporarily blind or dazzle commercial or government owned imaging 
satellites. The Air Force requested $53 million for the CSRS in 2005, but 
Congress declined to fund the program.

The reason became a source of confusion as lawmakers drafted the Defense 
Appropriations Act for 2005.

In the report accompanying its version of the bill, drafted in June, the 
Senate Appropriations Committee said it provided no funding for CSRS 
because the Air Force canceled the program shortly after submitting its 
budget request. However, several congressional aides said they had 
discussed the program in June with Air Force officials and had not been 
advised of the cancellation.

The House Appropriations Committee also declined to fund the program in its 
version of the bill. The final Defense Appropriations Act for 2005 was 
signed into law by U.S. President George W. Bush in early August.

Air Force officials later added to the confusion by refusing to confirm or 
deny that the program had been canceled.

In a written statement provided by Capt. Angie Blair, a spokeswoman for Air 
Force Space Command in Colorado Springs, Colo., officials said the CSRS 
lost out to competing priorities as the service developed its 2006 budget 
proposal, which will be sent to Capitol Hill in early 2005. The program was 
expected to cost about $166 million from 2004 through 2009, according to 
Air Force budget charts unveiled in February.

The CounterCom program, meanwhile, was formally declared operational in 
late September, Blair said. To gain operational status, the program had to 
clear several milestones, including testing to validate its performance, 
training of troops in the use of the system and logistical issues, Space 
Command officials said in a response to questions.

Space Command deferred the question of when and where the CounterCom system 
might first be deployed to U.S. Strategic Command here. Air Force Maj. 
Brett Ashworth, a spokesman for Strategic Command, would only say that the 
CounterCom system will be made available when and where U.S. forces need it.

Northrop Grumman Corp. of Los Angeles is the prime contractor on the 
CounterCom system, with Harris Corp. of Melbourne, Fla., as a major 

The system is similar to other ground based electronic warfare gear and is 
based largely on commercially available components, according to Space 
Command officials. They declined to detail its capabilities due to 
classification restrictions, Blair said.

The CounterCom system cost $22 million to develop, Space Command officials 
said. The program is expected to cost $53 million from 2004 through 2009, 
according to the Air Force budget charts.

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