Saturday, December 10, 2022

Russian Official Warns Of ‘Space War’; Wants To Blow Up NATO Satellite Constellation & Disable HIMARS

Tempers in Russia are running high since the Kerch Bridge was blown up, allegedly by Ukrainian forces. Following the attack on the Crimean bridge, there has been a volley of missile strikes on Ukraine’s capital – Kyiv.

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On October 10, Russia rained down several missiles across Ukraine and bombed Kyiv first time in months since the troops retreated.

At least 14 people were killed in the bombardment that struck civilian neighborhoods, cutting off power and water and destroying buildings. The attack came two days after the Crimean Kerch bridge attack.

Furious Moscow is still not satisfied. According to a report in Russian media Pravda, Mikhail Sheremet, a State Duma representative for the Crimean region, has proposed to “blow out” the NATO satellite constellation.

The official made calls for the destruction of the satellite network, which, in his opinion, carries out reconnaissance operations and coordinates missile strikes by Ukrainian troops on Russian territories.

The official is notorious for making provocative statements. Earlier, he had called for the total mobilization of military-aged males in Russia.

“It is worth blowing out the NATO satellite constellation, which is currently used by Ukrainian troops for reconnaissance and guidance of missile strikes with the help of the HIMARS MLRS in the Kherson, Zaporizhzhia regions, as well as the DPR, and LPR,” said Mikhail Sheremet.

Sheremet’s suggestion comes even as Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the Crimean Bridge attack. However, it is pertinent to note that the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense had earlier teased an attack on the Crimean Bridge with floating HIMARS pointing at the bridge and thundering music playing in the background, as previously reported by EurAsian Times.

Hack The HIMARS?

The HIMARS has assumed the status of the most formidable weapon system in the Ukrainian arsenal. It has drawn a lot of attention as one of the most effective weapons the United States has given Ukraine in the ongoing conflict because of its capacity to launch devastating, pinpoint attacks against Russian strongholds.

Ukraine’s HIMARS assisted its troops in halting a brutal Russian advance by being able to strike Russian military sites, ammunition stores, and infrastructure far behind the front lines.

In the last few weeks, the Ukrainian soldiers have engaged Russian forces in the south and recaptured significant swathes of territory in the east of their country. Hundreds of Russian targets, including command centers, ammo dumps, refueling stations, and bridges, have been struck by Ukraine’s 50-mile-range HIMARS rockets, cutting off supply to front-line soldiers.

HIMARS
File Image: HIMARS

The Duma Deputy wants to cripple the HIMARS by attacking the NATO satellite constellation. According to him, HIMARS will no longer carry significant danger without satellite tracking, as they will lose their accuracy.

HIMARS is guided by satellite and deviates from its target coordinates by at most one yard, allowing the Ukrainian troops to hit Russian targets without damaging its territory. The nose of the rocket fired from HIMARS carries a satellite guidance system which gives it pinpoint accuracy.

The HIMARS launcher can travel at a top speed of 55 mph; however, off-road in the high desert, it travels closer to 35 mph. It has around five to seven minutes once it is in the open to locate its firing position, aim its rockets at the target, and fire — one rocket every few seconds.

Sheremet further elaborated on the weapons that could be used for the attack. He said, “We have weapons capable of doing this, including a complex of Russian laser weapons, Peresvet. These satellites today are destroying our people, so we have every right to extinguish and disable them, as they contribute to aggression against Russia.”

Peresvet (laser weapon) - Wikipedia
Peresvet (laser weapon) – Wikipedia

Putin first revealed the “Peresvet” laser weapon in 2018, and reports have suggested that the weapon has been deployed in the battle against Ukraine.

However, doubts were earlier raised about its capability. The deputy prime minister in charge of military development, Yury Borisov, claims that Moscow has a new “secret” laser weapon that is already widely used and can blind satellites up to 1,500 kilometers above Earth.

However, it is noteworthy that any Russian attack on NATO Satellite Constellation would ultimately lead to escalation and could spill over into a direct war between the two sides, much bigger in extent than what it is now. The suggestion also points towards the use of space warfare, a threat that security experts have long highlighted.

While the HIMARS was already the most problematic weapon that the Russians had to track and destroy, Ukrainian forces have now received a new type of HIMARS rocket which can decimate large target areas with a single strike, according to Express.

The M30A1 missiles can reportedly obliterate a half-mile square of land with a single blow. Before this new delivery, Ukrainian forces used M31 Unitary Warhead precision rockets, which have 90 kilograms of the explosive charge and produce distinctive diamond-shaped shrapnel.

Smaller targets, including single buildings, are better suited for the M31.

 

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