France Wants to Launch Satellites Featuring Defensive Lasers and Quite Possibly Machine Guns
France recently announced the next step in their defense system – namely, satellites kitted out with defensive lasers and possibly even submachine guns. Captain America was right; we can’t trust governments anymore – they’re weaponizing the skies! Before we start panicking about satellites raining down terror on us, it’s important to note that these seem to be designed to protect satellites and the country’s space-related projects. French Defense Minister Florence Parly said of the satellite plans:
“If our satellites are threatened, we will consider blinding those of our opponents,” the minister told reporters, according to Task & Purpose. “This may involve the use of power lasers deployed from our satellites or from our patrol nano-satellites.” There was also mention of “submachine guns capable of breaking solar panels” on hostile spacecraft, the site wrote.
“Active defense is not an offensive strategy; it’s self-defense,” Parly added. “It is, when a hostile act has been identified as such, acceptable within the confines of international law to be able to respond in an appropriate and proportionate manner. The law does not exempt self-defense, does not prohibit militarization, nor does it prevent weaponization.” (Gizmodo)
These satellites would be mini-surveillance satellites, packed with defensive weaponry, and the plan is to have them up in orbit as soon as 2030. Nothing is confirmed in terms of weaponry just yet, but it’s clear France wants to protect its technology in space, following French President’ Emmanuel Macron’s announcement of a defensive space force earlier this year.
The idea is to protect the country from hostile acts, such as the alleged Russian hacking attempt of the French Athena-Fidus communications satellite back in 2017. Some are concerned about the possibility of an escalation of weapons and possible conflicts as a result:
“Union of Concerned Scientists senior scientist Laura Grego told the paper that “If concentrating authority in a Space Force creates an incentive for nations to build space weapons that increase the likelihood of conflict, it would be a profoundly bad idea.”
What do you think? Is it a good idea for France to try and protect their technology? Or do you think this type of thing will lead to further issues down the road? Share your thoughts and comments below.