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Business News/ News / World/  Putin's Russia developing a nuclear EMP space weapon? Biden says 'no threat'

Putin's Russia developing a nuclear EMP space weapon? Biden says 'no threat'

Russia is developing a nuclear space weapon that could disable satellites, but it is not yet in orbit. The US is closely monitoring the situation and taking it seriously, but there is no immediate threat to safety or physical harm on Earth.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin. (AFP)Premium
Russia's President Vladimir Putin. (AFP)

Russia is developing a nuclear space weapon that can produce a massive energy wave and potentially disable a large portion of commercial and government satellites on which the world relies to communicate via cell phones, pay bills, and access the internet, sources familiar with the intelligence told CNN. 

Currently, the weapon is still being developed and not yet in orbit, Biden administration officials have confirmed publicly. They warned that if deployed, it would cross a precarious boundary in the history of nuclear weapons and might have catastrophic, unpredictable effects on daily life.

This type of new weapon, which military space experts refer to as a nuclear EMP, would disrupt other satellites circling the Earth by tearing through space and producing a flood of highly charged particles and an electromagnetic energy pulse.

White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby said the United States is closely monitoring this Russian activity and will continue to take it seriously amid reports of Moscow reportedly developing a space-based nuclear weapon. 

“This is not an active capability that's been deployed. Though Russia's pursuit of this particular capability is troubling, there is no immediate threat to anyone's safety. We are not talking about a weapon that can be used to attack human beings or cause physical destruction here on Earth. We've been closely monitoring this Russian activity," the US official said. 

Kirby said Biden has directed a series of initial actions, including additional briefings to congressional leaders, and direct diplomatic engagement with Russia, as per ANI reports. 

However, US President Joe Biden clarified that the anti-satellite space weapon under development by Russia did not pose a nuclear threat to those on Earth and that he expected the Kremlin would ultimately decide against deploying the system.

“There is no nuclear threat to the people of America or anywhere else in the world with what Russia is doing," Biden said on Friday. 

“What we found out was there was, a capacity to launch a system into space that could theoretically do something that was damaging hadn’t happened yet. And my expectation — my hope was it will not," the US President added. 


(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 17 Feb 2024, 09:00 AM IST
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