Space warfare

Other Names:
Star wars

Space warfare is combat in which one or more belligerents are situated in outer space. The scope of space warfare therefore includes ground-to-space warfare, such as attacking satellites from the Earth; space-to-space warfare, such as satellites attacking satellites; and space-to-ground warfare, such as satellites attacking Earth-based targets. Space warfare in fiction is thus sub-genre and theme of science fiction, where it is portrayed with a range of realism and plausibility. In the real world, international treaties are in place that attempt to regulate conflicts in space and limit the installation of space weapon systems, especially nuclear weapons.

On October 31, 2023, during the 2023 Israel-Hamas War, Israel's Arrow 2 system intercepted a ballistic missile launched from Yemen by Houthi rebels; this successful interception occurred outside of Earth's atmosphere thus making it the first recorded practical instance of space warfare during an active conflict. On April 14, 2024, Iran launched more than 120 ballistic missiles at Israel, making it the first large-scale incident in which a space weapon was used.

From 1985 to 2002, there was a United States Space Command, which in 2002 merged with the United States Strategic Command, leaving the United States Space Force (formerly Air Force Space Command until 2019) as the primary American military space force. The Russian Space Force, established on August 10, 1992, which became an independent section of the Russian Armed Forces on June 1, 2001, was replaced by the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces starting December 1, 2011, but was reestablished as a component of the Russian Aerospace Forces on August 1, 2015. In 2019, India conducted a test of the ASAT missile; this made out the fourth country with that capability. In April of the same year, the Indian Armed Forces established the Defence Space Agency.


There is a clear plan to militarize space with US weapons, and to seek the ability to "deny others the use of space." It is laid out in the mission statements of the United States Space Command. The Space Command describes its role as "dominating the space dimension of military operations to protect U.S. interests and investment and integrating Space Forces into This may be done through the relatively benign, small-scale defence system, called the National Missile Defense (NMD) project, of which the Space Command is the responsible agency. It foresees that "NMD will evolve into a mix of ground and space sensors and weapons." war-fighting capabilities across the full spectrum of conflict." To put the Space Command plans in place, the United States will have to abrogate, or ignore, the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and probably the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as well, while violating at least the spirit of the Outer Space Treaty and the Environmental Modification Techniques protocol.

Broader Problems:
Unconventional war
Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Date of last update
27.09.2021 – 07:32 CEST