It’s been more than 70 years since the end of World War II.
But global tensions are once again reaching fever-pitch levels.
China, flexing its military muscle, has added 3,200 acres of land in seven “man-made” island locations in the disputed territory of the South China Sea.
North Korea, an alleged ally of China, is threatening the U.S. with intercontinental nuclear missiles.
And Russia, fresh off of accusations of manipulating the 2016 U.S. presidential election, has flown military jets within striking distance of Alaskan airspace and American warships.
Indeed, we’re closer now to world war than we have been in three decades…
But as senior analyst Jonathan Rodriguez notes, a whole new type of war is brewing — in outer space.
Ahead of the tape,
Chief Investment Strategist, Wall Street Daily
Fire in the Sky
For as long as man has recorded history, war has been fought on land and sea, and, more recently, in the air.
But as the world advanced technologically, so have our weapons — and our battlefields.
In addition to traditional methods of defense, governments around the world have been preparing for war on a variety of new fronts.
Aiming to thwart attacks on critical network infrastructure, specialized solider units have been trained to fight off hackers.
Heck, even bankers are being militarized and simulating attacks on the financial markets, such as competitive currency devaluations.
You may have heard this called the “currency wars.”
Yet one battlefront is often overlooked.
I’m talking about the more than 1,300 active satellites orbiting around Earth.
As you know, satellites are critical to modern civilization.
They facilitate cellphone transmissions, GPS navigation, weather forecasting and even power generation.
And many of these satellites are vulnerable to attack, not only from missiles launched from the ground — but also from weaponized satellites above.
Enter the Satellite Killer
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In 2007, China destroyed one of its defunct weather satellites with what’s known as a kinetic kill vehicle (KKV). KKVs are launched into space on top of a ballistic missile.
A kinetic kill vehicle is a projectile designed to destroy an object using the force of impact, as opposed to an explosion.
They were initially developed in the 1980s to destroy incoming intercontinental nuclear missiles in space.
China was, naturally, secretive about the whole operation, and the exact details of the weapon are unknown.
But the Secure World Foundation reports that the missile China used to launch the estimated 600 kg (1,322 lbs.) KKV was likely a modified medium-range rocket with a range of up to 2,500 km (1,553 miles).
One year later, the U.S. — not to be outdone — launched its own KKV-tipped missile into the sky to destroy a defunct military satellite.
Much like the Chinese operation, we don’t know much about the American satellite-killer outside of its stated purpose and reported success.
Follow the Money
Now, the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 made it illegal to park weapons of mass destruction — such as nuclear weapons — in space or on the moon.
But anti-satellite measures are perfectly legal.
And as nations around the world bulk up on these technologies, the U.S. is beefing up space defense spending…
In 2016, the federal budget included $2 billion earmarked for the Pentagon to spend on space control measures.
And according to SpaceNews, federal spending on space control could hit $8 billion by 2020.
In fact, the Trump administration seeks a $54 billion hike in defense spending in this year’s budget.
Bottom line: The threat of space warfare is real. And as defense spending on space control ramps up, so will the profits of aerospace tech companies.
And of course, as small-cap pure plays emerge, Wall Street Daily readers will be the first to know.
On the hunt,
Senior Analyst, Wall Street Daily