Find a Security Clearance Job!

Space



 
DATE=  10/2/97
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-220729
TITLE=U-S LASER TEST (S)
BYLINE=REBECCA MCMENAMIN
DATELINE=PENTAGON
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 
INTRO:  U-S DEFENSE SECRETARY WILLIAM COHEN HAS GIVEN THE 
GO-AHEAD FOR A CONTROVERSIAL TEST IN WHICH A GROUND-BASED LASER 
WILL BE FIRED AT AN AGING MILITARY SATELLITE.  VOA'S REBECCA 
MCMENAMIN HAS THIS REPORT ON WHAT WILL BE THE FIRST EXPERIMENT OF
ITS KIND.
TEXT:  PENTAGON OFFICIALS SAY THE PURPOSE OF THE EXPERIMENT IS TO
TEST THE VULNERABILITY OF U-S SATELLITES TO LASERS -- SOMETHING 
THAT COULD BE CRITICAL IN TIMES OF WARFARE GIVEN THE INCREASING 
DEPENDENCY ON SPACE PROBES FOR COMMUNICATIONS.
THE GROUND-BASED LASER, OPERATED BY U-S FORCES IN THE WESTERN 
STATE OF NEW MEXICO, WILL INITIALLY FIRE BRIEF ILLIMUNATIONS TO 
LOCATE THE SATELLITE.  THEN IT WILL ILLUMINATE THE PROBE FOR LESS
THAN 10 SECONDS TO TEST THE IMPACT OF THE LASER BEAM.
THE EXPERIMENT IS TO BE CONDUCTED IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS, IF 
WEATHER PERMITS.
DEFENSE SPOKESMEN SAY THE TEST IS FULLY CONSISTENT WITH U-S 
POLICY AND INTERNATIONAL LAW.  HOWEVER, CRITICS ARGUE THE LASER 
TEST COULD FUEL A NEW SPACE-BASED ARMS RACE -- REMINISCENT OF THE
COLD WAR.
THE DECISION TO GO AHEAD WITH THE TEST WAS ANNOUNCED AT THE END 
OF A NATO DEFENSE MINISTERS' MEETING IN THE DUTCH CITY OF 
MAASTRICHT. BILLED AS INFORMAL DISCUSSIONS, THE TALKS HAVE 
FOCUSED ON THE FUTURE ROLE OF NATO TROOPS IN BOSNIA -- AND NATO 
EXPANSION. (SIGNED)
NEB/RJM/KL
02-Oct-97 10:47 AM EDT (1447 UTC)
NNNN
Source: Voice of America
.
      



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list