Putin test-fires anti-satellite missile that can wipe out essential US navigation, communications and intelligence technology in orbit

Friday, April 13, 2018
By Paul Martin

Test flight of ‘Nudol’ said to have taken place at Plesetsk facility north of Moscow
, known as PL19, said to have been launched from its eventual transporter
Experts say its main job is to exit Earth’s atmosphere and strike large objects
But Russian reports have insisted the missile is to provide ‘long-range defense’

By JULIAN ROBINSON
DAILYMAIL.COM
13 April 2018

Russia has completed the latest test of its new anti-satellite missile which is capable of wiping out essential US navigation, communications and intelligence technology in orbit.

The sixth test flight of the ‘Nudol’ is believed to have taken place at Plesetsk Cosmodrome, 500 miles north of the Russian capital, Moscow, on March 26.

On this occasion, the weapon, also known as PL19, is said to have been launched from its eventual transporter for the first time suggesting a major step forward in its development.

In the past, the project has been shrouded in secrecy but Russian state reports have insisted that the Nudol is for defense purposes, describing it as ‘a new Russian long-range missile defense’.

But experts say the interceptor missile’s main job is to accelerate out of the Earth’s atmosphere and strike large objects, using kinetic energy.

It comes as Russia continues to modernise its strategic arsenal under President Vladimir Putin.

A Defense Intelligence Agency report to Congress in February 2015 stated: ‘Russia’s military doctrine emphasizes space defense as a vital component of its national defense.

‘Russian leaders openly assert that the Russian armed forces have anti-satellite weapons and conduct anti-satellite research.’

The first successful test launch of the Nudol was in late 2015 as part of a wave of next-generation kinetic interceptor systems currently being developed by Russia, according to The Diplomat.

After a previous test in 2016, former Pentagon official Mark Schneider warned that the consequences of an anti-satellite attack on the U.S. could be devastating.

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