Britain's new space force 'could deploy RAF Typhoon fighter jets to the "edge of space" to destroy Russian and Chinese military satellites'

Blackleaf

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Britain's new space force 'could deploy RAF Typhoon fighter jets to the "edge of space" to destroy Russian and Chinese military satellites'​

Britain's new Space Command could deploy RAF fighter jets up to 60,000 feet
Selected pilots will take part in training missions with aim of taking down Chinese and Russian military satellites during war
During war, the pilots would release anti-satellite missiles at enemy satellites


By RACHAEL BUNYAN FOR MAILONLINE
21 February 2021

Britain's new space force could be deploying RAF Typhoon fighter jets to the 'edge of space' in a bid to destroy enemy satellites in the near future, senior military sources have revealed.

Selected fighter pilots will take part in Space Command's training missions with the ultimate aim of taking down Chinese and Russian military, intelligence and communication satellites during wartime.

The specialist team will go through a string of simulated exercises before taking part in training flights where they would reach around 60,000 feet, RAF sources told the Sunday Express.

During a conflict, the pilots would then release anti-satellite (ASAT) missiles at enemy satellites before quickly returning to lower heights.

Britain's new space force could be deploying RAF Typhoon fighter jets to the 'edge of space' in a bid to destroy enemy satellites in the near future, senior military sources have revealed. Pictured: RAF Typhoon combat aircraft

Britain's new space force could be deploying RAF Typhoon fighter jets to the 'edge of space' in a bid to destroy enemy satellites in the near future, senior military sources have revealed. Pictured: RAF Typhoon combat aircraft

Selected fighter pilots will take part in Space Command's training missions with the ultimate aim of taking down Chinese and Russian military, intelligence and communication satellites during wartime. (Pictured: file photo of a satellite)

Selected fighter pilots will take part in Space Command's training missions with the ultimate aim of taking down Chinese and Russian military, intelligence and communication satellites during wartime. (Pictured: file photo of a satellite)

The development comes two weeks after the Space Command announced their first commander as Air Commodore Paul Godfrey, 48.

He will carry the new rank of Air Vice Marshal when he takes the helm at Space Command.

Russia and China have already developed anti-satellite weapons, including ASAT missiles, with some being deployed.

RAF sources told the Sunday Express that it would be 'folly not to explore fully the capabilities required for satellite denial'.

While the UK does not have its own anti-satellite missiles, the US has SM-3 ASAT missiles, which could be placed under the wings of an RAF Typhoon.

Air Commodore Paul Godfrey will carry the new rank of Air Vice Marshal when he takes the helm at Space Command

Air Commodore Paul Godfrey will carry the new rank of Air Vice Marshal when he takes the helm at Space Command

Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston has previously warned that the UK's access to space is fundamental to national security and it would be 'negligent' if the UK failed to address the threats posed to satellites and their GPS navigation and communication capabilities.

He said: 'A future conflict may not start in space, but I am in no doubt it will transition very quickly to space, and it may even be won or lost in space.

'So we have to be ready to protect and if necessary defend our critical national interests in space.

'If we don't think and prepare today, we won't be ready when the time comes.'

Justin Bronk, research fellow at the RUSI think tank, told the Sunday newspaper: 'The benefits of having ASAT based on a ship or plane is that you can fire it from wherever you want.

'It doesn't take a Typhoon long to reach the equator.'

But if the UK acquired the SM-3 missiles from the US, they may cause a weight distribution issue as they must be fitted under the Typhoon's wings.

'It's not an insurmountable problem but it certainly makes sense to use Typhoon simulators - where Typhoons fly up to 40,000ft before pulling up to get a zoom climb to 60,000ft - in order to clear the asymmetry issues,' Bronk said.

The Russian Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with the Progress MS-15 cargo spacecraft lifting off from the launch pad at the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, 23 July 2020

The Russian Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with the Progress MS-15 cargo spacecraft lifting off from the launch pad at the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, 23 July 2020


Russia has conducting a series of tests with space-based anti-satellite weapons. Such weapons lead to increased debris and could potentially leave parts of space unusable.

Russia has already shown its capabilities when it comes to ASAT missiles launched from the ground and from space using a satellite.

In December last year, the United States Space Command said Russia conducted a test of a direct-assent ASAT missile, which by definition was launched from the ground.

'Russia publicly claims it is working to prevent the transformation of outer space into a battlefield, yet at the same time Moscow continues to weaponize space by developing and fielding on-orbit and ground-based capabilities that seek to exploit U.S. reliance on space-based systems,' the US Space Command said in a statement.

Russia has also potentially used its satellites for spying for both commercial and military purposes.

Last year the US confirmed China has ground-based missiles that can hit satellites moving in 'low Earth orbit'.

Britain's adversaries have also developed weapons such as lasers that could be used to damage satellites vital for tasks such as predicting the weather and carrying out disaster relief operations.

In one example a rocket was fired from Earth to orbit with the aim of destroying satellites. In 2007 China destroyed a weather satellite, creating more than 3000 pieces of debris.

SPACE WARS: NATIONS CONSIDER RULES TO GOVERN THE USE OF MILITARY WEAPONS IN SPACE

A group of more than 40 international experts are conducting a multi-year research project that will culminate in a Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space.

MILAMOS Project is to ensure space activities are conducted in accordance with the rule of law.

This will involve a consideration of the existing international rules on outer space.

It will also involve integration with international humanitarian law and the rules prohibiting the use of force.

The drafting of the rules will involve many meetings, heated discussions and compromises.

It is envisaged that at the end of the project the applicable rules will be agreed on the basis of consensus.

The MILAMOS Project is not an effort to condone warfare in outer space.

On the contrary, it seeks to prevent armed conflict and minimise the devastating impact that space technology and military operations may have on the long-term and peaceful use of outer space.

The Outer Space Treaty, which was signed in 1967, was agreed through the United Nations, and today it remains as the 'constitution' of outer space.

The space treaty states that celestial territory is not subject to 'national appropriation' – in other words, no country can lay claim to them.

In the fifty years the treaty has existed, it has yet to be violated.


Britain's new space force 'could send RAF jets to "edge of space" to destroy military satellites' | Daily Mail Online
 

Tecumsehsbones

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We've been doing that for 30+ years.

The RAF. . . on the cutting edge of the last generation.

Stick to your memories/fantasies of the Battle of Britain, son. It's the last time you made a difference.
 
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Blackleaf

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We've been doing that for 30+ years.

The RAF. . . on the cutting edge of the last generation.

Stick to your memories/fantasies of the Battle of Britain, son. It's the last time you made a difference.

Remember - America can't win wars unless Britain is fighting alongside it, because the British Armed Forces are the best on the world.
 

Tecumsehsbones

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Comparable U.S. fighter: The F-4 Phantom.

Arguably the most advanced MRCA for its day in history.

Certainly a generation or two ahead of the English flying dogturd.
 

Blackleaf

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Comparable U.S. fighter: The F-4 Phantom.

Arguably the most advanced MRCA for its day in history.

Certainly a generation or two ahead of the English flying dogturd.

“In 1958 two test pilots from the USAF Air Force Flight Test Center, Andy Anderson and Deke Slayton, were given the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the P.1 English Electric Lightning. Slayton, who was subsequently selected as one of the Mercury astronauts, commented:

The P.1 was a terrific plane, with the easy handling of the F-86 and the performance of an F-104. Its only drawback was that it had no range at all. . . Looking back, however, I'd have to say that the P.1 was my favourite all-time plane. “

Dave Hopkin, former Troop Commander at Brtish Army (1977-1984)
Answered February 10, 2020

"The Lighting was the ONLY Nato fighter that could intercept a U2 at its max altitude, the Lighting manual gave its Servie ceiling as “Over 60,000 Ft”

In 1984 Mike Hale of 11 Sqd RAF Binbrook flying XR729 attempted an intercept of a U2 at 66,000ft, he caught up with in and passed in a zoom climb, peaking at 88,000ft before turning into a attack position
Previously 11 Sqd had taken part in competative exercised against US F104 Starfighters at Albourg Denmark in various categories the Lightings out performed the 104s in every class except low level supersonic which was a dead heat
The lighting was also the only interceptor ever to catch Concode at speed, F014s. F16, F14 and F14 tried and failed the Lighting did it……."
*********

Michael Shore, former Elect Tech Contractor US Army Europe (1999-2012)
Answered March 6, 2020

I have been involved in air defence on and off for the last 60 years. I was in Germany in 1959 when we were moved from Manching/Ingolstadt to make way for the new Luftwaffe school. The luftwaffe were going to buy the EE Lightning but suddenly it was the F104, much to the surprise of the German Pilots. Much later it turned out that Lockheed had spread an awful lot of money around in the NATO leadership. Later in England At an air traffic control center, when we heard a U2 Pilot rather loudly concerned, that he had been intercepted by Lightnings, ‘from above’. In Malaysia at Penang RAF Tiger SQN (Lightnings) was visiting RAAF Tiger SQN (Mirage III) at Butterworth, Heard from RAAF commander
“ OK Flight established at 52 thou, RAF are at 10 thou, we need to sort ourselves out before they get here “” Break Break Break Where the hell did they come from”””

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Barrie Rodliffe
Answered July 25, 2019

Contemporary US fighters would include the F 104 which was known in Germany as “ Widow maker “ in Italy as “ Flying coffin “, I do not know what the Canadians called it other than useless and the USA lost about double the number of them compared to other 100 series fighters.
The Lightning was the first aircraft to achieve supercruise, in fact it could accelerate to over mach 1 without the use of the afterburner. the Lightning also was able to intercept the U 2 at heights that USA thought was impossible, it was also the only fighter in NATO able to catch up to Condorde, others tried and failed including newer fighters like the F 15.

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Mátyás Nagy
, Test Engineer at Major Telco Carrier (2000-present)
Updated May 30, 2018

Originally Answered: How good or bad was the English Electric Lighting compared to contemporary US fighters, honestly?

The climbing ability of the Lightning was second to none. Period.
It was designed to intercept Soviet bombers in the shortest notice as Britain doesn’t have the buffer zone as the USA.
Lightnings were meant to be utilized with GCI in mind. Therefore a weak radar is not that big of a problem.
Notable that it had two 30mm ADEN autocannons while contemporary US fighters had no such armament. (Believe me, a 30 mm HEF-I shell can ruin anybody’s day.)


 
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