İrem UZUN -TDO- The United States accused Russia on Thursday of conducting a test of an anti-satellite weapon in space, asserting that it exposed Moscow’s intent to deploy weapons that threaten U.S. and allied satellites. “The Russian satellite system used to conduct this on-orbit weapons test is the same satellite system that we raised concerns about earlier this year, when Russia maneuvered near a U.S. government satellite,” said General John W. Raymond, commander of Space Command and the head of U.S. Space Force.

This marks the second time in three years that Russia has tested new technologies that could lead to so-called "killer satellites." "U.S. Space Command has evidence that Russia conducted a non-destructive test of a space-based anti-satellite weapon," according to a statement issued Thursday. "On 15 July, Russia injected a new object into orbit from Cosmos 2543, currently Satellite Catalog Number 45915 in www.space-track.org." In a separate statement, Air Vice-Marshal Harvey Smyth, the head of the UK's space directorate, said, "We are concerned by the manner in which Russia tested one of its satellites by launching a projectile with the characteristics of a weapon. Actions of this kind threaten the peaceful use of space and risk causing debris that could pose a threat to satellites and the space systems on which the world depends". "We call on Russia to avoid any further such testing,” he added.

Russia dismissed U.S. and British claims and declared that the accusations served to justify Washington's own plans to deploy weapons in orbit. Accusations from the U.S. and UK that are "distorted", Russia's defense ministry said. "Tests carried out on 15 July did not create a threat for other spacecraft," the ministry said, adding that it had not violated international law.

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