The source, who is understood to have spoken with Russian news outlet Interfax, claimed that Almaz-Antey, the maker of the futuristic weapon, has “completed work on the anti-satellite complex”.
In response to the claims, a research analyst at the Centre for Naval Analyses, Samuel Bendett, declared that Vladimir Putin considers satellites from the US a “significant threat” and is working to counter Donald Trump’s space tech.
He explained: “Russia considers American satellites a significant threat when it comes to potential confrontation, and is actively working to counter US technologies in space, such as possible electronic warfare technologies that can target hundreds of kilometres up.
“The developments in laser technologies are in step with US and Chinese advancements in this area.”
It has not yet been officially confirmed whether the development of such a weapon has actually been completed.
However, last year Pavel Sozinov, a designer at Almaz-Antey, a Russian state-owned arms company, told the Ria Novosti news agency that the superpower had told it to work on weaponry that could achieve “direct functional destruction of those elements deployed in orbit”.
Plans are understood to be in the works that involve attaching the laser to an undisclosed aircraft as part of the country’s anti-satellite “complex”.
Last year Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence, stated that the US assessed both Russia and China would “perceive a need to offset any US military advantage”.
He continued: “We assess that Russia and China perceive a need to offset any US military advantage derived from military, civil, or commercial space systems and are increasingly considering attacks against satellite systems as part of their future warfare doctrine.”
A report from the US Pentagon’s Joint Staff issued the shocking warning that both China and Russia could have the capabilities to destroy satellites in low-Earth orbit by 2020.
The document read: “China and Russia will be capable of severely disrupting or destroying US satellites in low-earth orbit.”
Satellites in low-Earth orbit fly between 100 and 1,242 miles above the planet.
The advanced technology is used to provide military data that helps to prepare forces around the world for deployment in the event of a crisis or conflict.
Other functionality for satellites flying close to Earth is for weather monitoring and communication purposes.