According to a recent article in The Space Review, Russia is constructing a new ground-based laser station for interfering with satellites in orbit above it. The laser is believed to bombard spy satellites from other countries with laser light to confuse their optical sensors.

The report claims that there is “strong evidence” indicating the installation of a new laser system named Kalina at a Russian space surveillance facility in the northern Caucasus. It targets the optical systems of foreign imaging satellites passing over Russian territory.

laser weapons, laser weapon, spy satellite
(Photo : ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images)
The International Space Station (ISS) is seen on the monitor after the Soyuz MS-20 space craft undocked from the ISS, starting the landing of the International space crew including Japanese space tourists Yusaku Maezawa and his assistant Yozo Hirano, and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin, at Mission Control Center in Korolyov, outside Moscow, early on December 20, 2021

Comparable To The Size of Kentucky

The report also said that Kalina is capable of targetting an overhead satellited for hundreds of miles of its course. This would enable the protection of a vast area on a scale of 40,000 square miles (100,000 square kilometers) from optical satellite sensors that gather intelligence.

According to IFLSCIENCE, this is comparable to the size of Kentucky, which is only around 40,000 square miles.

Despite repeated delays since the project’s inception in 2011, Space Review said that current Google Earth imagery reveals that the building is already on its way. A mobile laser dazzler called Peresvet has been in use since late 2019, and Kalina will supplement it.

The astronomical community is familiar with Zelenchukskaya, located several kilometers west of Kalina. Kalina is a component of the Krona space surveillance complex operated by the Russian Ministry of Defense.

The RATAN-600 radio telescope and the Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences, which house the six-meter BTA telescope, are also nearby.

The radar system, which is marked 40Zh6, and the lidar (named 30Zh6) that makeup Krona, or “tree crown,” are spaced a distance of several kilometers apart. The lidar, or LOL in Russian, is located at the summit of Chapal, a mountain that rises to a height of two kilometers, according to Space Review.

The main purpose of the radar system is to provide LOL with precise trajectory data so that it may direct its telescopes to its intended targets.

Counter Space Function

Space Review cited three different sources that they claim as evidence for Kalina’s counter space function.

Firstly, a bank guarantee document was posted online in January 2014 claiming that Kalina aimed to develop a system that would use solid-state lasers and a transmit/receive adaptive optics system to suppress satellite electro-optical systems functionally.

Second, Kalina was referred to as a “space security complex” in a document that surfaced online in 2017 listing upcoming military construction projects.

Lastly, NPK SPP recognized its involvement in the creation of “laser systems for electro-optical warfare” in its annual report for 2013.

Written by Joaquin Victor Tacla

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