SWF Releases 2019 Report on Global Counterspace Capabilities

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Today, SWF is releasing the 2019 edition of our annual Global Counterspace Capabilities Report that provides an in-depth assessment of counterspace and anti-satellite (ASAT) capabilities being developing around the world. The report is a compilation of publicly-available information for various countries developing counterspace capabilities across several categories: direct ascent, co-orbital, directed energy, electronic warfare, and cyber. For each of these categories, the report assesses the current and near-term capabilities for the countries examined in the report, their potential military utility, and any policy, doctrine, or budget support. Taken together, the analysis is intended to provide a holistic picture of each country’s counterspace programs and how those capabilities may be used.

Major additions for 2019 include:

  • More details on Chinese and American directed energy weapons research for counterspace applications
  • New rendezvous and proximity operations (RPO) being conducted in the geosynchronous region by the United States, Russia, and China
  • Information on what appears to be a new Russian co-orbital ASAT program known as Burevestnik
  • Preliminary details about the March Indian ASAT test and the previous failed test in February
  • Recent efforts in the United States, Russia, and China to re-organize military space bureaucracy to support space warfighting
  • Thrip cyber espionage attacks against space-related companies and software services

Our research was done in partnership with the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). who are also releasing their own 2019 Space Threat Assessment report today. The CSIS report is available here.

We hope these reports will increase public knowledge of these issues, the willingness of policymakers to discuss these issues openly, and involvement of other stakeholders in the debate over the potential for conflict in space. Our global society and economy is increasingly dependent on space capabilities, and a future conflict in space could have massive, long-term negative repercussions that are felt here on Earth.

More information about the SWF report and a download link can be found here.

Last updated on April 5, 2019