The Role of Space Systems in Nuclear Deterrence
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The Role of Space Systems in Nuclear Deterrence

4 October 2023


Functions and orbits of space systems both sheds light on the multiple functions of space systems and provides indications of the strategic value of particular types of space assets for the three states. [...] Historically, while the coverage of the US early-warning system was global, that of the Soviet system was not; instead, it seems to have been largely limited to the northern hemisphere, where missile threats against the country were most likely to appear.16 Like the USA, the Soviet Union began to deploy early-warning satellites in the 1970s.17 While these also included satellites in GEO, HEO was p. [...] Early examples of space- based ISR include the US Corona programme from the 1960s and the Soviet/ Russian Yantar series from the 1980s, which provided information on missile capabilities and sites of interest.44 In addition to their importance for nuclear deterrence, ISR satellites form a key part of the ‘national technical means’ of verification—intelligence sources used to monitor compliance wit. [...] on the intergovernmental discussion on this issue in relation to the Chinese–Russian draft treaty on prevention of the placement of weapons in outer space and of the threat or use of force against outer space objects (PPWT) see Conference on Disarmament, Letter dated 19 August 2008 from the Permanent Representative of the United States of America, CD/1847, 26 Aug. [...] Actors in the space domain are not only reluctant to reveal details of the development of their own offensive cyber capabilities, but they are also reluctant to acknowledge having fallen victim to cyberattacks as this would mean acknowledging the vulnerability of their systems.111 Furthermore, attributing the source of a cyberattack continues to be hard and opens the accountability of the attackin.

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