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U.S. wargame highlights role of commercial space imagery in military conflicts

The research concluded that Russia’s and China’s sophisticated long-range sensor and weapon networks along their borders and in occupied lands create a “strategic problem” for the United States, said Bryan Clark, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments who participated in the wargame.

The wargame shed light on the increasing sophistication and availability of satellite imagery as a trend that is playing in favor of U.S. adversaries. Both Russia and China have high-frequency radars that can see well over the horizon, as well as underwater sensor networks that can hear some types of submarines. With the newer constellations of electro-optical satellites, they get unprecedented visibility. “They can tap into commercial satellite networks, which are growing pretty dramatically, for visual and infrared indication,” Clark said Wednesday during a briefing at the Association of Old Crows annual conference.

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