The Nudol direct ascent missile was launched from facility in north Russia
Launch represents a major milestone for nation as it modernises weaponry
Russian reports have insisted the missile is to provide 'long-range defense'
By Charlie Moore For Mailonline
Published: 09:27 EST, 27 May 2016 | Updated: 11:01 EST, 27 May 2016
Russia has successfully tested an anti-satellite missile capable of wiping out U.S. navigation, communications and intelligence devices.
The Nudol direct ascent missile was launched from a facility in Plesetsk, 500 miles north of Moscow, and was monitored by U.S. intelligence.
It is unknown whether the Nudol was fired at a target or just launched on a suborbital trajectory but the successful test represents a major milestone for Russia as it continues to modernise its strategic arsenal under President Vladimir Putin.
The developments have 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'.
However, former Pentagon official Mark Schneider warned that the consequences of an anti-satellite attack on the U.S. could be devastating.
'The loss of GPS guidance due to [anti-satellite] attack would take out a substantial part of our precision weapons delivery capability and essentially all of our standoff capability,' he told The Washington Free Beacon.
Air Force Lt. Gen. David J. Buck, commander of the Joint Functional Component Command for Space, said in March that 'Russia views U.S. dependency on space as an exploitable vulnerability, and they are taking deliberate actions to strengthen their counter-space capabilities.'
Gen. John Hyten, the commander of Air Force Space Command, also expressed concern at the development of such weapons in both Russia and China, but Russian military analyst Pavel Podvig said this latest launch was not part of calculated strategic plan against the U.S.
'I wouldn't be surprised if the [Nudol] system is being developed just because it can be developed -they will think about its role later, assuming that it works,' he said.
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.'
A blog called Planet4589.org that monitors space launches states that Russia made a failed attempts to test the Nudol in April last year.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3612851/Russia-successfully-tests-anti-satellite-missile-capable-wiping-navigation-communications-intelligence-devices.html#ixzz4A0SSEWwt
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