Russia Carries Out Space-Based Antisatellite Weapons Test

A Soyuz-2 1b rocket booster carrying the Kosmos-2546 military satellite of the Russian Defence Ministry seen before the launch by the Russian Aerospace Forces from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. Video screen grab.
Russian Defence Ministry\TASS via Getty Images

Russia Carries Out Space-Based Antisatellite Weapons Test

How vulnerable is the United States?

The United States Space Command said on July 23 that it has proof showing that Russia recently tested an antisatellite weapon in space.

The Russians carried out the test in mid-July using the Kosmos 2543 satellite, which they had launched into orbit in June 2017 inside its parent satellite. The 2543 is the same satellite that made headlines this February after the Russians navigated it dangerously near to a U.S. spy satellite. Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, the commander of U.S. Space Command, called the 2543’s in-orbit maneuvers “disturbing.”

On July 15, this “disturbing” behavior continued when Kosmos 2543 released a new object into orbit and used it to conduct a test of a space-based weapon. “Russia released this object in proximity to another Russian satellite,” U.S. Space Command wrote in an online statement, “which is similar to on-orbit activity conducted by Russia in 2017, and inconsistent with the system’s stated mission as an inspector satellite.”

The Russian test was apparently nondestructive. But General Raymond said it makes clear the destructive nature of Russia’s space goals: “This is further evidence of Russia’s continuing efforts to develop and test space-based systems,” he said, adding that it was “consistent with the Kremlin’s published military doctrine to employ weapons that hold U.S. and allied space assets at risk.”

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Ford said the event “highlights Russia’s hypocritical advocacy of outer space arms control, with which Moscow aims to restrict the capabilities of the United States while clearly having no intention of halting its own counterspace program.” Ford said this is clear both for Russia’s ground-based antisatellite weaponry and the Kosmos 2543, which appears to be “actual in-orbit antisatellite weaponry.”

The United States has hundreds of satellites in orbit that the country depends on for everything from weather monitoring, banking services and television broadcasting to telephone and Internet technologies. There is also the Global Positioning System, a constellation of 33 satellites that Washington makes freely accessible to anyone on the planet with a gps receiver. This $12 billion feat of engineering provides users with all manner of positioning, navigation and timing services. And then most importantly is that the U.S. military depends heavily on satellites for navigation, reconnaissance, targeting and communication systems.

Writing for the Washington Free Beacon, Bill Gertz said serious threats are posed to these satellites not just by Russia, but also its primary partner: “All these low-Earth orbit satellites are now highly vulnerable to Chinese or Russian antisatellite weapons and capabilities.”

Steve Lambakis, an international affairs analyst, also addressed this threat recently and emphasized the American military’s vulnerability. “U.S. space systems are among the most fragile and vulnerable assets operated by the U.S. military,” he said. The multibillion-dollar infrastructure is “vital to nearly every activity of the United States and, increasingly, the armed forces of U.S. allies.”

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has written on several occasions about the hazards of America’s reliance, specifically its military, on computer systems that are susceptible to enemy attack. In a January 1995 Trumpet article, he quoted analyst Joe de Courcy, who termed this reliance “the Western world’s Achilles’ heel.” This was a reference to the apparently invulnerable warrior of Greek mythology who was susceptible to injury only on his heels.

“America is the greatest superpower this world has ever known,” Mr. Flurry wrote. “But we have a very vulnerable point in our military—our own Achilles’ heel.” This liability “is so dangerous that I am amazed it hasn’t received more publicity” (ibid).

Mr. Flurry said de Courcy’s warning about cyber vulnerability reminded him of a Bible prophecy recorded in Ezekiel 7. The first three verses of that chapter show that God is addressing “the land of Israel” in the time of “the end,” which refers primarily to the U.S. and Britain in the modern day. (You can prove this truth for yourself by ordering and carefully reading our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.)

Ezekiel 7 discusses a future when God will punish these countries for their “abominations” and rejection of Him (verse 8). Verse 14 paints a chilling picture of one aspect of that punishment: “They have blown the trumpet, even to make all ready; but none goeth to the battle: for my wrath is upon all the multitude thereof.”

Calling this an “alarming” scripture, Mr. Flurry explained that it describes a time in the near future when U.S. military technology will be hijacked by adversaries. “It seems everybody is expecting our people to go into battle, but the greatest tragedy imaginable occurs!” Mr. Flurry wrote. “Nobody goes to battle—even though the trumpet is blown! Will it be because of a computer terrorist?”

Isaiah 59 provides more information about this future time of chaos for the United States and some of its allies. In verses 9 and 10, the people of America are shown to be stripped of vision: “[W]e wait for light, but behold obscurity; [we wait] for brightness, but we walk in darkness. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noon day as in the night ….”

So this is already coming to pass in a spiritual sense for the U.S. and Britain today. It is obvious that the nations are groping around in spiritual blindness. And the vision that is absent in this prophecy could also possibly include physical types of seeing, including that made possible by America’s satellites.

In his booklet Isaiah’s End-Time Vision, Mr. Flurry discusses prophesies recorded in Ezekiel 5 and 27, Isaiah 22 and 23 and Revelation 18, which show what nations will be behind the attack on America and its allies. He writes: “[T]he German-led Holy Roman Empire and certain Asian powers” including “Russia, China, [and] Japan” are “going to besiege America, Britain and the Jewish nation.”

When these prophecies are examined together, the significance of Russia’s antisatellite test becomes clear. To understand more about the prophetic context of trends now underway today and where it is leading, order your free copy Isaiah’s End-Time Vision.