DOD Warns of Space-Based Threats to National Security, Requests $33.3 Billion Budget to Counter

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The Department of Defense is looking to enhance national security by increasing America’s budget for space-based technology. At the House Armed Services Strategic Forces subcommittee hearing on national security space activities, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy, John F. Plumb, testified on Wednesday that America’s competitors, including China and Russia, are trying hard to challenge America’s space power by developing counterspace weapons of their own and making an effort to deny space missions to the United States. Plumb explained why the president’s $33.3 billion budget for fiscal year 2024 is necessary in order to properly invest in the technology to ensure America remains a strong leader in space. 

Threats to America’s space power have increased over the last few years, said Plumb, noting that China in particular has increased the “quantity and quality of their counterspace threats.” China reportedly has field ground-based counterspace weapons and they are building the technology to execute long-range precision strikes. China also is continuing to pursue new methods to put U.S. satellites at risk. Russia is also trying to develop and test their own technology with the goal to undermine America’s capabilities. 


The budget increase reflects the push to “accelerate resilient design architectures and provide investments in research, development, testing and experimentation,” said Plumb. The budget includes “nearly $5 billion for missile warning and missile tracking, including $2.3 billion for new proliferated resilient architectures…$2.6 billion for next-generation overhead persistent infrared…$1.3 billion for position, navigation and timing, including development of the next-generation operational control system for GPS…$3 billion for 15 launch vehicles and range upgrades…$4.7 billion for protected and jam-resistant satellite communications, and this includes the Space Development Agency’s space data transport layer.”

There are three priorities to maintaining power in space, said Plumb, which are space control, space cooperation and space classification. Stressing the importance of working together with allies on space technology, Plumb argued that this is among the advantages the United States has over its competitors. 


Plumb remained optimistic that America’s strength in space will continue to be superior. “Our competitors have watched us, they have learned from us, they’ve stolen from us, and they have developed capabilities to hold us at risk. But they are not ready for us. They’re not ready for us today…they will not be ready for us tomorrow,” he said. 

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