The Space Review’s open source investigation into the new complex, which appears to be in the Krona space facility of the Russian Ministry of Defense close to Zelenchukskaya, revealed its existence.
They contend that Project “Kalina,” a laser system intended for “electro-optical warfare,” could shine laser pulses to harm satellites’ optical sensors by analyzing publicly available satellite imagery, solicitation documents from Russian industrial contractors, and Russian financial documents.
The Space Review reports that “tender documentation posted online in 2015 had already made it clear that Kalina would feature a new telescope to precisely aim laser beams at satellites.”
Although the project’s initial phases began in 2011, preliminary research actually began a decade earlier. The complex where Kalina resides is equipped with surveillance tools like radar and lidar systems for locating targets for space telescopes.
It is unknown how much of the hardware has been installed, despite the telescope building and the tunnel joining it to the lidar building already being in place. The various economic sanctions imposed on Russia since 2014, particularly those on electronics, may have hampered its advancement.
Russia tested a missile in November of last year that destroyed one of its own satellites.
At the time, Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state, denounced what he called Russia’s “reckless” test, which left nearly 1,500 pieces of debris floating in low-Earth orbit, where the International Space Station orbits the Earth.
Due to the danger of producing space debris, anti-satellite weapons (ASAT) testing has come under fire from former astronauts, international space agencies, Nobel Laureates, and government officials from all over the world.
In a letter published in September 2021, it was stated that “if just one piece of debris from such a test collides with a satellite and causes a major fragmentation event, this could lead to additional events affecting all States, which could include further fragmentations, satellite failures, or service disruptions.”