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US Alleges Russia Developing Space Based Nuclear Weapon: Sources

The emergence of reports about the possible Russian development came after the Republican chair of the U.S. House of Representatives intelligence committee issued a cryptic statement on February 14, warning of a "serious national security threat." The nature of this threat was not explicitly stated but has since raised concerns within the intelligence community.

Edited By : Saurav Gupta | Updated: Feb 21, 2024 06:58 IST
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US Alleges Russia Developing Space Based Nuclear Weapon
US Alleges Russia Developing Space Based Nuclear Weapon

In a recent revelation, a confidential source has disclosed that the United States believes Russia is actively working on a space-based anti-satellite nuclear weapon. The potential detonation of such a weapon could have far-reaching consequences, disrupting various sectors, including military communications and phone-based ride services.

Details of the Alleged System

The anonymous source, speaking on condition of anonymity, revealed that the system under development by Russia would likely involve placing a nuclear explosive device into orbit. This raises significant concerns about the militarization of space and the potential threats posed by such technologies.

Russian Denial and Dispute

Russian President Vladimir Putin has vehemently denied the allegations, stating that Russia opposes the deployment of nuclear weapons in space. Furthermore, the Russian defense minister has flatly rejected reports suggesting the development of a space-based nuclear capability.

Russia – Silence from U.S. Authorities

Both the White House and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence have declined to comment on the matter, adding to the air of uncertainty surrounding the situation.

Origins of the Reports

The emergence of reports about the possible Russian development came after the Republican chair of the U.S. House of Representatives intelligence committee issued a cryptic statement on February 14, warning of a “serious national security threat.” The nature of this threat was not explicitly stated but has since raised concerns within the intelligence community.

Russia – Outer Space Treaty Violation

The clearest indication of Washington’s belief in Russia’s space-based anti-satellite nuclear weapon development is a statement from a White House spokesperson. The spokesperson stated that the United States views the system under development as a violation of the Outer Space Treaty, signed in 1967. This treaty prohibits signatories, including Russia and the United States, from placing objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other weapons of mass destruction into Earth’s orbit.

Heightened Tensions in U.S.-Russian Relations

This development adds to the already strained relations between the United States and Russia, with various contentious issues, including Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, contributing to the current geopolitical tensions. The potential deployment of a space-based nuclear weapon further exacerbates the diplomatic challenges faced by both nations.

Russia – Concerns Over Accidental Explosions

Recent reports, including those from The New York Times and Bloomberg, suggest that the U.S. intelligence community is concerned about a possible secret military satellite launch by Russia. While the key question remains whether Russia intends to put an actual nuclear weapon into space, the risk of an accidental explosion looms large. Bloomberg reported that the United States believes Russia may deploy a nuclear weapon or a mock warhead into space as early as this year, raising the stakes in the ongoing international dispute.

Official Silence on Bloomberg Report

The Bloomberg report, citing unnamed sources, has not been officially addressed by the White House or the Office of the Director of Intelligence, leaving room for speculation and further concerns about the potential risks associated with Russia’s activities in space.

First published on: Feb 21, 2024 06:50 AM IST

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