Modern Information Technologies to Simulate Use of Space-Based Assets*
Exploring the possibility of using outer space for military objectives was in the center of attention of the country's government and military leadership long before the launching of the first earth satellite. Space exploration in Russia and other countries has always been with an eye to use orbital hardware to boost their military potential and defense capability. The development and employment of space-based systems throughout the 1960s and 1980s provides a compelling proof that orbital hardware was instrumental for solving the problems of global information support and communications. Such systems have no alternative today as for their functional capabilities.
Beginning in the early 1990s, the situation in the realm of military use of near-earth space changed in a radical manner. Improvements in space-based weapons and military equipment significantly expanded the range of problems effectively resolved with the use of orbital hardware. While military space-based systems traditionally provide government and military leaders with strategic information, they also provide information, navigation, weather, topographic, geodetic and other types of support of combat operations of large strategic formations, combined units and units of different arms and services. The effectiveness of integrating orbital groups with ground-based forces and weapon systems, especially those equipped with precision weapons, was convincingly demonstrated during combat operations in the Persian Gulf (1991), during the armed conflict in Yugoslavia (1999) and finally in the war in Iraq (2003). The role of the space-based component will be steadily growing in the future and orbital assets will be actively used not only in support of C&C agencies of large strategic formations and combined units but also of tactical subunits and even of the individual soldier.
Among the most important factors of the realistic nature of this prospect are advances made to date in building and specialist use of small space vehicles
* Material was compiled by V. F. Fateev, V. I. Gorbulin, V. V. Yefimov, D. O. Lebedev, A. M. Yeliseev, A. G. Vinogradov. Studies were sponsored by the Council for Grants of the RF President, Grant No. N. Sh-2355 - 2003. 9.
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