US uses its space capabilities to counter China in the Indo-Pacific


US uses its space capabilities to counter China in the Indo-Pacific

The US military has demonstrated its ability to send tactical data lines known as Link 16 from space, a significant technological advance that might revolutionize military operations in the Indo-Pacific region.

The strong Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) policy of China, which seeks to keep US forces out of any conflict, particularly one involving Taiwan, is what led to this development.

During a lecture at Aus Space in Sydney, US Indo-Pacific Command’s head of space operations, Brig Gen. Anthony Mastalir, emphasized the new capacity’s strategic importance.

US uses its space capabilities to counter China in the Indo-Pacific
According to a story published in Breaking Defense, the technology known as Link 16, which was initially unveiled in late November, expands communication capabilities worldwide, beyond the traditional 200–300 nautical mile line-of-sight restriction

He stated, “We’re doing those demonstrations with Fleet in the Indo-Pacific AOR. We’ve already shown that we can transmit Link-16 tactical data lines from space.”

“It will completely change the game.”

The technology known as Link 16, which was first introduced in late November, reportedly increases communication capabilities globally, surpassing the conventional 200–300 nautical mile line-of-sight restriction, according to an article published in Breaking Defense.

By putting this technology into orbit, the US is able to be in continuous, nearly real-time communication with all of its armed forces, NATO, and other allies. This is a crucial component of the Joint Fire Network, which enables commanders to share intelligence in real time and automate fire control.

Mastalir called China’s advancements since 2019 in enhancing its A2/AD capabilities “breathtaking.”

China’s strategy is to build up a substantial satellite arsenal and rapid, long-range missiles like the DF-26 in order to thwart US action in the South and East China Seas.

Mastalir pointed out that “China’s kill chain is specifically designed to prevent the United States from intervening and projecting power inside the second island chain.”

Notwithstanding the challenges, Mastalir expressed optimism in the US’s ability to thwart China’s goal through strong partnerships in the Indo-Pacific area. “I know there will be opportunities with the partnerships we have in the Indo-Pacific AOR, and we’ll continue to pursue those,” he added, adding that “this is not an easy task.”

The US Space Forces Indo-Pacific are strengthening its communication capabilities and adding more personnel and equipment. The company has expanded in the last year, offering billets for civilian personnel in addition to contractor roles. Furthermore, connections with several organizations are being strengthened, such as the Space Development Agency and Space Systems Command.

Based on the Space Forces Korea unit, which was established in December 2022, the US military plans to establish a US Space Forces unit in Japan in the future. This development is a part of a bigger plan to enhance space capabilities via collaboration with friends and partners in the Pacific Area of Responsibility.

In actuality, the topic of conversation is the interests of each nation. What are your desires? What are your priorities and goals? Mastalir provided a clarification.

“The goal is to create customized solutions, whether through joint investment ventures or the establishment of sovereign space capabilities.”

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