Why is it better for Russia to create its own analogue of Starlink than to destroy the American one?


In the past few days, the Runet has been literally seething and seething with passions around the American satellite constellation, the possibility of destroying which in the ninth month of the special operation was discussed at the Russian Foreign Ministry. Ideas and suggestions are pouring in like a bucket. But will any of them actually be used?


An informational reason to talk about this curious topic was given by Konstantin Vorontsov, Deputy Director of the Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, speaking at a meeting of the First Committee of the UN General Assembly:

Separately, we would like to emphasize an extremely dangerous trend that has clearly manifested itself in the course of events in Ukraine. We are talking about the use by the United States and its allies of civil infrastructure components in space, including commercial ones, in armed conflicts. Quasi-civilian infrastructure may be a legitimate target for retaliation.

A high-ranking diplomat acknowledged what was known a long time ago. The satellite constellation of the United States and its allies over Ukraine is actively used for the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, providing them with real-time intelligence on the location and movements of Russian troops, data for target designation, as well as reliable communications that are almost impossible to block. It is only unclear why they started talking about this only in the ninth month of the NMD and what goal the Russian Foreign Ministry is pursuing now, speaking with an open threat of destroying foreign spacecraft. How feasible is such a task?

If you read numerous publications and a myriad of comments on this topic, you might get the impression that Russia has a wide arsenal to fight enemy satellites. This is also the Soviet program "Sputnik Fighter", or IS, the MiG-31D anti-satellite aircraft, which is supposed to destroy spacecraft with a special missile, the S-500 Prometheus air defense system, the Nudol anti-satellite complex, the Peresvet laser complex, various electronic warfare systems of the type "Tirada-2S", as well as other ways to disable satellites - from undermining a nuclear bomb in orbit to launching a conditional "bucket of nails" there. Such abundance makes my head spin. However, some difficulties may arise with the practical use of such weapons.

At first, we note that the Russian diplomat spoke about the possibility of destroying only commercial satellites such as Elon Musk's Starlink, which are used by the Pentagon to transmit intelligence to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The Russian Foreign Ministry does not encroach directly on American military satellites. Therefore, indiscriminate weapons like a nuclear bomb or a cloud of nails will definitely not be used.

Secondly, with weapons of selective action, too, not everything is so simple. The Soviet anti-satellite complex, developed by Chelomey, was on combat duty until 1993, and we have 2022 in the yard. Special anti-satellite aircraft based on the MiG-31D were indeed created. There were only two prototypes, numbered 071 and 072. According to open data, both "space fighters" are now on the territory of Kazakhstan. It is not known how ready they are for such tasks, but it is hardly worth counting on a miracle. The Peresvet laser complex exists, but so far it is only on experimental combat duty. The effectiveness of his actions was questioned by military experts, since Peresvet requires ideal conditions for use. Electronic warfare systems of the Tirada-2S type, judging by information from Ukraine, can indeed temporarily interrupt the operation of American communications satellites, but they are not able to disable Earth remote sensing satellites, which are the main reconnaissance ones.

The most realistic is the use of Russian missile systems against foreign satellites. These are the A-235 (Nudol) layered territorial missile defense system, which has already demonstrated its ability to shoot down satellites, as well as the most modern S-500 air defense system, whose tasks initially include the destruction of low-orbit spacecraft. This is something we can really count on, but there are nuances.

Like us celebrated Earlier, Elon Musk's company set up a streaming production of new satellites, which it can produce several pieces a day and then put them into orbit by almost hundreds at a time. According to some reports, the RF Ministry of Defense has only a few dozen anti-satellite missiles for Nudol, and they are very expensive and difficult to manufacture. The cost of the S-500 air defense system is about 2-2,5 billion dollars per division, and the Prometheus in 2021 have just begun to enter the troops. That is, we will lose the arms race in space purely economically.

Thirdly, it is necessary to take into account all possible negative consequences from the shooting of American satellites over Ukraine. At best, this will only lead to the formation of a large amount of debris in orbit. At worst, the United States may be offended for its company and respond symmetrically by destroying Russian commercial satellites. Yes, Starlink is a private corporation, but it works under contracts with the Pentagon. If satellites start to shoot down already here, then we will either have to go for a further escalation of the conflict in space, or not to do this and lose face, and at the same time be defeated in the arms race, since in terms of spacecraft production, Russia cannot be compared with the United States.

What conclusions can we draw?

The Russian Ministry of Defense can indeed destroy all American and NATO satellites by using nuclear weapons in orbit, but this will only be done during the Last War. The targeted use of anti-satellite weapons over Ukraine within the framework of the NMD is fraught with numerous negative consequences specifically for Russia, therefore it is not clear why the Russian Foreign Ministry even undertook to scare the Pentagon with this. The best thing we can do is to mass-produce cheap, highly specialized satellites like Elon Musk, and use them to cover the entire low Earth orbit with them over Ukraine, over Europe, and over the USA. Then the Russian military will be equalized in capabilities with NATO, and such a symmetrical response will be the best.
12 comments
Information
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. Emil Offline Emil
    Emil (Emil) 28 October 2022 17: 02
    0
    Too much of this garbage flies, although most of it burned down, but the dirt remains ....

    1. skeptic Offline skeptic
      skeptic 29 October 2022 07: 26
      0
      Quote: Emil
      A lot of this garbage flies, although most of it burned down, but the dirt remains ...

      We need to send scavenger satellites with string bags. He piled up a bunch (fortunately, commercial satellites, small ones) - sent it down. He collects the next pile, until the consumption of the last "string bag".
  2. Grei grin Offline Grei grin
    Grei grin (Gray Grin) 28 October 2022 17: 45
    +3
    The Northern Streams have been blown up and no one is responsible for it, spy satellites are hanging over us, but how to touch them suddenly they will answer, because of this, nothing works in Ukraine and our soldiers are dying! Concerned reinsurers, hucksters and cowards, for whom the main thing is how expensive it is to shove the raw materials stolen from the people of Russia, which they have been for 30 years and have remained, still dream of making peace with Europe, our old enemy, now supplying the Bandera rabble with weapons to kill civilians and our soldiers !
  3. Vladimir Tuzakov (Vladimir Tuzakov) 28 October 2022 18: 02
    +1
    You need both. In the future, a situation where the need and destruction of enemy satellites will become the agenda .. This needs to be prepared in advance, that's today's task - turn off the private Starlink satellites. How to do this, working out options, creating a working system for combating enemy satellites .. Develop your own systems, so the Rogozins and others are masters of only "trampolines", self-praise and theft in the areas they lead, there is nothing to expect the necessary technical development from such ...
  4. SP-Ang Offline SP-Ang
    SP-Ang (Sergei) 28 October 2022 18: 09
    +1
    The illiteracy of some authors of articles is surprising - satellites, except for geostationaries, are constantly in motion around the earth, shifting by about 17 degrees to the west. What does this give us? Above your territory, you need to burn out the matrix through the optics. Approximately how the anti-sniper works. Well, accurate guidance is not a problem, the satellite antenna auto-tuning system has long been worked out, so it will direct the laser to the desired satellite. And with regard to starlink, "unknown" hackers should take care of it. The problem of depriving the enemy of information and communications is solved quickly and not too expensive, if desired ....
  5. DO Offline DO
    DO (Dmitriy) 28 October 2022 18: 15
    +1
    The satellite constellation of the United States and its allies over Ukraine is most actively used for the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, providing them with real-time intelligence on the location and movements of Russian troops, data for targeting them, as well as reliable communications

    Added to this is the precise targeting of American munitions using satellite positioning systems.
    And most importantly, 95% of human losses in the NMD are caused by damaging factors of artillery and MLRS, primarily high-precision systems using satellite constellations.
    Therefore, in order to significantly reduce Russian losses, it is logical first of all to use Russian EW satellites, which operate selectively only over the territory of Ukraine.
    But,

    The US may be offended by its company

    and not to drown out, but in his arrogant style to destroy any Russian satellites.
    Then Russia will have to respond with the symmetrical destruction of American satellites. If we talk about the destruction of the Starlink satellite constellation, then

    Elon Musk's company has launched a streaming production of new satellites, which can be produced several times a day and then put into orbit by almost hundreds of them at a time. According to some reports, the RF Ministry of Defense has only a few dozen anti-satellite missiles for Nudol, and they are very expensive and difficult to manufacture. The cost of the S-500 air defense system is about 2-2,5 billion dollars per division, and the Prometheus only began to enter the troops in 2021. That is, we will lose the arms race in space purely economically.

    It follows from this paragraph of the author that selective methods of destroying Starlink satellites are ineffective. What is the conclusion? What remains for the use of more effective indiscriminate methods of destroying satellites. Which logically refutes the author's thesis

    Therefore, indiscriminate weapons, such as a nuclear bomb or a cloud of nails, will definitely not be used.

    That is, at the appropriate stage of escalation, both orbital nuclear explosions and clouds of damaging elements launched towards enemy satellites can be used.
    From indiscriminate anti-satellite weapons, hypothetically used by both sides, the satellite constellations of both sides will cease to function effectively, and the launch of new satellites into orbit will be associated with a high probability of their imminent loss. Which side will lose significantly more of its combat capabilities from this? Of course, the United States, for whose weapons satellite constellations are the main link.
  6. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 28 October 2022 21: 08
    -4
    Everyone really understands that nothing can be done.

    All stolen before us

    Rogozin and K missed the "satellite revolution". The money has already been "optimized", there are no promised projects, no one has answered for the unfulfilled promises.
    Batutchik is promoting somewhere out there, hung with military toys, on the eve of a new high bureaucratic chair

    You can't shoot down civilian satellites. Yes, and there is nothing special - they are over 3000, and they are cheap and small.
    The mask displays them in a bunch, using the returned reusable stages. (like so )

    His satellites - here the launch of a single for Algeria was signed as a noble victory ....
    Yes, and the current answer - only 4 satellites - is very thin ...
    Unfortunately, there is no normal way out.
  7. usm5 Offline usm5
    usm5 (George) 28 October 2022 21: 13
    +2
    It is as a result of a successful operation to destroy an enemy group in space that a global thermonuclear war can be avoided, since NATO is unlikely to decide to go to war without a satellite constellation, and if it does, it will certainly lose, since the weapons of the Russian Federation, unlike NATO, were developed to work without a satellite constellation. Russia is a leader in the development of small, compact nuclear reactors that, when installed on a killer satellite, provide a long-term source of energy for its engine and weapons. As a weapon, a satellite can selectively use directed electromagnetic or corpuscular radiation against selected enemy targets. All these actions must be carried out quickly and brazenly. At the same time, it is not necessary to admit this, as "sworn partners" do all the time. But everyone will understand what kind of Dasha Dugina, northern streams, the Crimean bridge, Donbass, etc. are for you. Left without the Internet, means of communication, GPS, etc., the vaunted West will surely "see the light" and desire peaceful coexistence on terms acceptable to us. Otherwise, it is very likely that our peacefulness and caution on the verge of indecision will very quickly send us all to paradise.
  8. Foe Pshekov Offline Foe Pshekov
    Foe Pshekov (Arkady) 28 October 2022 23: 04
    +1
    Definitely destroy. Both commercial and American spies. In every possible way. The longer we drag this out, the more problems we'll have. Intelligence and geolocation are of paramount importance in the era of precision weapons. While the satellites are hanging over the territory of the Russian Federation (current and future), we will always be in the position of catching up.
  9. boriz Offline boriz
    boriz (boriz) 29 October 2022 12: 26
    +1
    The best thing we can do is to mass-produce cheap, highly specialized satellites like Elon Musk, and use them to cover the entire low Earth orbit with them over Ukraine, over Europe, and over the USA.

    For this, a trifle is needed, just to overcome the backlog from the United States in terms of the element base. What is unrealistic in the near future.
    Installations like Peresvet are much more preferable. The satellite looks intact, but does not work. The active elements of the AFAR have overheated. The final amplifying elements there are taken out to the radiating dipole, to the outside. At the same time, one of the disadvantages of APAA is the problem with heat removal from these active elements. If they are given a little "help" with heating by infrared laser radiation, then they will die. But this is already a matter of life, it is necessary to better organize the heat sink. As for the weather, it is also sunny in Ukraine. And it is not necessary to shoot them over the front line. They (satellites) do not stand still, they move. And they can be buried in the Caucasus, over the Crimea (in the mountains), in other sunny places. The weather in Yakutia is beautiful in winter.
    A couple of hundred satellites will be bent at the Mask, they will immediately begin to negotiate, and the Pentagon will not object this time.
  10. dub0vitsky Offline dub0vitsky
    dub0vitsky (Victor) 28 November 2022 20: 19
    0
    To destroy such a mass of CONNECTED satellites - more than 2000 is unthinkable. Starlinks do not have optics, they are military signal repeaters. And this is fraught. Shoot down the military. You can DEVALUE the intelligence of American intelligence officers. How? to create a grouping of long-range, not necessarily ultra-precise strike missiles far enough in the rear. Using the GLONASS signal. Hence, with a moderate price. For stationary objects. The location of the launches will be known to the enemy, but their goals will be unknown in advance. And they will have to play a combat alert throughout the territory, seeing active movement at the starting positions. The start of the flight will declassify the targets, but it will be too late to do something, especially if these are stationary targets.
  11. Plush Sergeant Offline Plush Sergeant
    Plush Sergeant 11 December 2022 00: 35
    +1
    Until we learn, like the Americans, to steal at a profit for the state, nothing will happen.