Global Counterspace Capabilities Report


Current Version:

2023 Executive Summary (English, Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese, Arabic)

2023 Full Report (English)

Revision history

Previous versions:

2022 Executive Summary (English, Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese, Arabic)

2022 Full Report (English)

        Revision history

2021 Executive Summary (EnglishSpanish, French, Russian, Chinese) 2021 Full Report (English)
2020 Executive Summary (English, Spanish, French) 2020 Full Report (English)
2019 Executive Summary (English) 2019 Full Report (English)
2018 Executive Summary (English)  2018 Full Report (English)


Space security has become an increasingly salient policy issue. Over the last several years, there has been growing concern from multiple governments over the reliance on vulnerable space capabilities for national security, and the corresponding proliferation of offensive counterspace capabilities that could be used to disrupt, deny, degrade, or destroy space systems. This in turn has led to increased rhetoric from some countries about the need to prepare for future conflicts on Earth to extend into space, and calls from some corners to increase the development of offensive counterspace capabilities and put in place more aggressive policies and postures.

We feel strongly that a more open and public debate on these issues is urgently needed. Space is not the sole domain of militaries and intelligence services. Our global society and economy is increasingly dependent on space capabilities, and a future conflict in space could have massive, long-term negative repercussions that are felt here on Earth. Even testing of these capabilities could have long-lasting negative repercussions for the space environment, and all who operate there. The public should be as aware of the developing threats and risks of different policy options as would be the case for other national security issues in the air, land, and sea domains.

The 2023 Report

The 2023 edition of the report assesses the current and near-term future capabilities for each country, along with their potential military utility. Countries covered in this report are divided up into those who have conducted debris-causing anti-satellite tests (the United States, Russia, China, India) and those who are developing counterspace technologies (Australia, France, Japan, Iran, North Korea, South Korea, and the United Kingdom). It covers events and activities through February 2023.

Major Updates in 2023:

  • Update on orbital debris still in space from ASAT testing by the US, Russia, China, and India (3,472 pieces out of 6,850 total created)
  • RPO between U.S. GSSAP satellite USA 270 and Chinese SY-12 (01) and SY0-12 (02) satellites in GEO in January 2022
  • Clarified distinction between the historical Soviet Kontakt DA-ASAT and the new Russian Burevestnik air-launched co-orbital ASAT system
  • Multiple upgrades to Russian SSA capabilities (Kalina, Krona, Pristel, Zorkiy)
  • Details about the Chinese Shenlong spaceplane flights in Sept 2020 and Aug 2022
  • Added two new likely Chinese DA-ASAT tests in February 2021 and June 2022 (which hit ballistic targets and did not created additional orbital debris)
  • Increasing incidents of GPS interference linked to the armed conflict in Ukraine and major military exercises by multiple countries
  • Increased focus by Japan, South Korea, and UK on improving indigenous SSA capabilities and developing electronic warfare capabilities
  • Details on plans for France’s YODA system for RPO/SSA in GEO, including potential offensive DEW capabilities
  • Added information about Australia’s announcement that they would be exploring non-destructive EW counterspace capabilities
  • Case study on the Russian cyber attack on Viasat’s KA-SAT service as part of the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022

Global Counterspace Capabilities © 2023 by Secure World Foundation is licensed under Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International. To view a copy of this license, visit

Additional Information

The following links include the core data underlying the counterspace report and/or additional resources to help visualize and understand the report's findings and data.

History of ASAT Testing in Space (Google Sheet)

History of Robotic Rendezvous and Proximity Operations in Space (Google Sheet)

Animations of debris clouds from historical ASAT tests in space (Youtube)

Code used to generate the Gabbard plots (Github)




Last updated on September 26, 2023