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China mulls destroying Elon Musk’s Starlink if seen as a security threat 

China mulls destroying Elon Musk’s Starlink if seen as a security threat 

Chinese military researchers are already thinking of ways to destroy Elon Musk-backed Starlink satellite system in case Beijing perceives it to be a threat to Chinese national security.  

As per these analysts, the Starlink constellation has a decentralised system and any confrontation will not only be about a single satellite but the whole system As per these analysts, the Starlink constellation has a decentralised system and any confrontation will not only be about a single satellite but the whole system

Chinese military researchers are already thinking of ways to destroy Elon Musk-backed Starlink satellite system in case Beijing perceives it to be a threat to Chinese national security.  

Ren Yuanzhen, a researcher with Beijing Institute of Tracking and Telecommunications, led a study regarding the same along with several senior scientists belonging to the Chinese defence industry. This study was published in the journal Modern Defence Technology.  

“A combination of soft and hard kill methods should be adopted to make some Starlink satellites lose their functions and destroy the constellation’s operating system,” the research paper accessed by Daily Mail read.  

But why does Beijing look at Starlink’s satellite system as a threat to its national security? Ren believes that US military drones and stealth fighter jets can strengthen their data by hundred times, thus, leading Beijing to conclude that the system is a potential national security threat.  

As per these analysts, the Starlink constellation has a decentralised system and any confrontation will not only be about a single satellite but the whole system. The Chinese security apparatus will have to employ “low-cost, high-efficiency measures” for the same.  

What can China do to counter the Starlink threat? As per Ren, the need to develop super-sharp space surveillance satellites to spy on the Starlink system is self-evident. He also believes that China should develop capabilities to intercept and analyse the data being transmitted to pre-empt threats. 

He furthermore notes that China needs to expand satellite killing abilities to destroy multiple targets like Starlink in a more cost-effective manner despite risk of space debris impacting other space operations.  

 (With inputs from The Daily Mail)