So many people sent me versions of this story, that I have to wonder what''s up. Here's two versions of the story:
So what's going on here?
Well, permit my to indulge in our usual geostationary orbital speculation. While there have also been stories that this test has been cancelled, it's the story itself that intrigues, for behind it is the implicit claim that (1) the USA has a top secret weapon, (2) it intended to test it, and (3) the test would interfere in some fashion with Global Positioning data upon which modern air traffic depends, data that in turn comes from satellites.
This, I suspect, was the real message behind the test.
Yes, I said message. In case you haven't noticed, the USA and Russia have been playing an old Cold War game, showing off their newest weapons systems capabilities to each other. It began with the Russian intervention in Syria, and its use of cruise missiles fired from Russian Warships in the Caspian Sea. The missiles reached their targets, of course, and obliterated them. More importantly still, Russia has unvailed the capabilties of its new land-based ICBM, a MIRVed monster that, unlike the ICBMs of yesteryear, is a weapon whose warheads are designed to strike anywhere on Earth, using any trajectory, eliminating the old "over the Arctic pole" trajectories. Moreover, it is claimed that these warheads can be re-targeted and re-directed in flight, and can thus change course. In other words, the new Russian ICBM is any missile-defense systems engineer's worst nightmare. And one can only presume the Russians have added typical counter-measures to the weapon: dummy warheads and so on.
We also saw Russian messages being sent in the recent USS Donald Cook incidents, and with the Russian demonstration of blackout and jamming capability over Syria.
But any such system is likely to depend on real-time data from the Russian GPS system, and hence, the ability to distort or otherwise interfere in that data could dramatically impair the performance of Russia's new ICBM. It won't do much good if, for example, a warhead targeted for Washington lands in Havana or Beijing or in the desert between Winnemuca and Ely Nevada based on faulty GPS distorted data.
So whatever may be going on(or not going on) with this story, I suspect the real intended recipients of the message were in Moscow, and that they read it loudly, and clearly. If two can play the covert operations game, two can also play the soft warfare electronic warfare game.
The Russian response to the message remains to be seen.
See you on the flip side...