Damian DiPippa, senior vice president and general manager of ManTech International’s (Nasdaq: MANT) mission and intelligence solutions business unit, discussed kinetic, radio frequency and other threats to U.S. space domain awareness and assets in a Federal News Network interview aired Monday.
DiPippa cited orbital threats, debris, microwave-capable satellites, RF jammers, lasers and chemical sprayers as additional threats, adding that if a person can imagine something, that technology is likely to already exist.
“We have directed energy weapons from the ground, lasers, high-powered microwaves that can temporarily dazzle, permanently damage systems in space. And then there is the whole electronic warfare, jamming uplinks and downlinks and even spoofing, injecting fake signals and techniques,” he said.
DiPippa mentioned a direct descent anti-satellite missile test that China performed in 2007 that resulted in a debris field that still interferes with space operations today as well as an anti-satellite missile trial that India conducted in 2019, during which India targeted one of its own satellites. He referred to both incidents as “wake up calls” to U.S. space dominance.
“It’s not just our typical adversaries of China and Russia,” he said, “but we could have third party, non-state actors as well in that realm.”
DiPippa noted that today, there are over 2K satellite systems in space from more than 20 countries.