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[infowar.de] ISRJournal 19.10.04: Satellite Jammer Ready: U.S. Satellite Jammer Ready
Satellite Jammer Ready: U.S.
Parallel Effort To Thwart Imaging Craft Dropped
By JEREMY SINGER
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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