When used in war, Starlink has great tactical potential – thus becoming a huge threat to the enemy. That is why the swords are now being rattled in China. Researchers publish a paper outlining the destruction of the satellite network.
As we recently reported under the headline “Starlink Provides Superior Artillery Infrastructure,” the SpaceX network can currently provide valuable assistance against Russia’s aggressors in the war in Ukraine. Of course, this does not go unnoticed by other military powers in the world. In China, military scientists have now published a paper highlighting the dangers of Starlink as an instrument of war and calling on the country to develop methods for targeted destruction.
Noisy South China Morning Mail The study was led by Ren Yuanzhen, a researcher at the Beijing Institute for Positioning and Telecommunications, who reports to the so-called “Strategic Support Unit” of the Chinese Armed Forces. The co-authors also include several senior scientists from the Chinese defense industry.
Around Starlink, the Chinese researchers around Ren formulate different scenarios of the threat:
- US military drones and fighter jets could increase their data transmission speeds by more than 100 times with a Starlink connection.
- SpaceX is developing new technologies for the US military based on the Starlink platform, including sensitive instruments that can detect and track hypersonic weapons
- Starlink satellites can use their ion engines to take offensive action against high-value targets in space
- Last but not least, Starlink’s scale, complexity, and flexibility make the network virtually untouchable to China at the moment
How to deal with that?
“The Starlink constellation is a decentralized system. It’s not about individual satellites, it’s about the whole system. This requires some cheap, very efficient methods,” the researchers say. As a first step, the military should upgrade its space surveillance systems to better investigate individual Starlink satellites and intercept signals. Its actual purpose is just as clearly worded: in the event of a conflict, “a combination of soft and hard kill methods should be used to deactivate some Starlink satellites and destroy the constellation’s operating system,” it says, in the paper.
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